Australia's mineral resources maintain world status

07 January 2010

Australia's mining sector continues to hold the potential to remain the most important export earning sector of the Australian economy for the foreseeable future.

This potential trend is based on the latest assessment of Australia's minerals inventory in the annual report titled, Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2009.

Compiled by Geoscience Australia, the report shows that Australia's economic demonstrated resources for a number of mineral commodities increased during 2008.

Chief of Geoscience Australia's Onshore Energy and Minerals Division, Dr James Johnson said the increase means that production was more than compensated for by the discovery of additional resources.

"However, the report notes that there have been very few world class discoveries in Australia in the past two decades and the inventory has been sustained largely through delineation of additional resources in known mineral fields," Dr Johnson said.

"Australian minerals projects are being increasingly ranked by multinational companies against investment returns from other projects worldwide, resulting in a number of recent mine closures in Australia," he said.

"This means that, while Australia's resource stocks are healthy overall, the country's position as a premier mineral producer is dependent on continuing investment in exploration to locate high quality resources and to upgrade known deposits to make them competitive on the world market," Dr Johnson said.

Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2009, is available as a free download and other fundamental data on the minerals sector can be obtained from the Australian Atlas of Mineral Resources, Mines and Processing Centres.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013