Australia’s EDR of gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, rutile, tantalum*, uranium, zinc and zircon were the world’s largest in 2019 (Table 8). Another 15 commodities ranked in the top five for world economic resources: antimony, bauxite, black coal, brown coal, cobalt, copper, diamond, ilmenite, lithium, manganese ore, niobium*, silver, tin, tungsten and vanadium (Table 8). Australia’s ranking for economic resources of nickel went from second in the world in 2018 to first in 2019. Australia’s rankings for manganese ore, molybdenum and vanadium resources all increased by one position in 2019 to fourth, seventh and second, respectively.
In 2019, Australia was the top global producer for bauxite, iron ore and rutile (all bulk commodities), as well as lithium which is becoming increasingly important for battery storage technologies. Australia was the second largest producer of diamond, gold, lead, manganese ore and zircon; the third largest producer of cobalt, uranium and zinc; the fourth largest producer of ilmenite and rare earths; and the fifth largest producer of black coal (Table 8).
Table 8. World ranking for Australia's mineral resources (EDR) and production as at December 2019.
|Commodity||World Ranking for Resources||Share of World Resources||World Ranking for Production||Share of World Production|
|Black Coal – Recoverable||4||10%||5||6%|
|Brown Coal – Recoverable||2||24%||7||6%|
n.a. = not applicable because Australia has no Economic Demonstrated Resources of that particular commodity.
Minor = <1% of global economic resources and/or production, therefore Australia’s ranking unable to be determined.
Unknown = production is likely to have occurred during the year but quantities are not publically available.
World rankings determined by comparing Australia’s EDR and production to economic resources and production reported for other countries, see sources below. Undocumented resources and production are not used in the comparisons.
USGS (Mineral Commodity Summaries 2020), OECD Nuclear Energy Agency/International Atomic Energy Agency (The Red Book 2018), World Nuclear Association (World Uranium Mining Production, September 2020 update), BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019, International Energy Agency (Coal Information 2019 Overview) and Geoscience Australia.
* Australia’s high rankings for niobium and tantalum are based on published estimates of economic resources and, therefore, do not consider the large, but undocumented, resources of the Congo.