Thursday 17th Oct, 2019

WA investment could drive new mining boom

Rising investment in Western Australian projects along with record sales in 2017-18 could see the mining industry return to the conditions of the mining boom, according to new research from IBIS world.

Iron ore, gold, battery materials and liquefied natural gas are industries that IBISWorld said are possible growth drivers for the industry.

Iron ore sales reached a record of 826 million tonnes in 2017-18, an 8.5 per cent increase over the past year, driven by increased demand from Asian markets, particularly China.

The WA iron ore industry recorded $6.1 billion of new project investment and $5.5 billion of planning stage investment in 2017-18.

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Western Australian lithium production is also on the rise and expected to hit 274,000 tonnes in 2018-19, bolstered by operations from companies such as Altura Mining, Pilbara Minerals, Kidman Resources and Albemarle.

IBISWorld’s research warned of the current trade tariffs imposed by the US on China, which could prove a potential impediment to future growth.

IBISWorld senior industry analyst Jason Aravanis said China is a major market for Australian mining exports, particularly iron ore and lithium.

“Should the global economy enter a downturn in response to the significant tariffs introduced in 2018, the Australian economy is likely to be hit hard,” Aravanis said.