Australia’s Mining Sector Achieves Record Export Revenue of A$455bn in 2022–23

Australia’s Mining Sector Achieves Record Export Revenue of A$455bn in 2022–23

Australia’s mining industry has contributed a historic A$455 billion ($298.64 billion) in export revenue during the 2022–23 financial year, a recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed.

This remarkable figure accounts for two-thirds of the nation’s total export revenue and marks a notable 10.5% increase from the previous record set in 2021–22.
The data highlights that coal exports collectively amounted to A$128 billion, with iron ore exports closely following at A$125 billion. Gold made a significant contribution of A$27.4 billion to the country’s total export revenue, while aluminium and copper accounted for A$14.9 billion and A$12.5 billion, respectively.

Moreover, the ABS data disclosed a growth in the export of clean energy technology metals, including nickel (51% growth), zinc (30% growth), and copper (17% growth).

The coal export sector sustained an 11% expansion, while gold exports exhibited a 5% growth throughout the financial year.

In April, a report published by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources predicted that revenue from critical minerals would match that of coal by 2028. The report anticipated substantial growth in renewable technology materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and rare earth metals in the coming decade, while projecting a decline in thermal coal export revenue to A$19 billion—a one-third decrease from current levels by 2027–28.

According to the Minerals Council of Australia, an industry association representing the major mining companies in the nation, the cumulative contribution of minerals, metals, and energy commodities to export revenue over the past ten years has amounted to A$2.7 trillion.

However, separate statistics from ABS have indicated that despite recording record contributions to export revenue in May, the mining sector witnessed the most significant decline in business turnover among the 13 selected industries.

Robert Ewing, Head of Business Indicators at ABS, explained, “Mining turnover fell 6% in May, following a 12.1% decline in April, due to decreasing demand and commodity prices, particularly for iron ore and coal.”

Ewing also noted that among the selected industries, the electricity, gas, water, and waste services sector saw the largest monthly percentage rise, with a 12.8% increase in May after a 7.5% drop in April.

The drop in turnover was attributed to a 0.5% decline in iron ore mining, primarily due to planned maintenance and shutdowns. Additionally, a 2.6% decrease in the mining of other materials resulted from wet weather disrupting gold and copper production in key areas.

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