Record gold, lithium sales for WA

THE value of Western Australia’s commodity exports and the number of people employed in the resources sector hit a record high in the 2022 financial year.
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Pilbara Minerals spodumene being loaded onto a ship for export

Staff reporter

Mineral and petroleum sales hit A$231 billion, the fourth consecutive record.

Iron ore maintained its historically high status with sales of $137 billion, gold hit another record with sales of $17 billion, while nickel recorded sales of $4.9 billion, the highest in 10 years.

A huge jump in lithium prices drove the value of spodumene concentrate sales to a record $6.8 billion - more than two-and-a-half times its previous record and elevating it to WA's third highest mineral by sales value.

LNG production was valued at an all-time high of $38 billion and condensate production was valued at a record $8.6 billion.

Against the backdrop of crippling labour shortages, the number of people employed in WA's resources sector also hit a record high of more than 157,700 people, up 6% year-on-year.

Mineral exploration expenditure reached a new high of $2.5 billion with strong levels of spending on gold, nickel, copper, rare earths and lithium.

More than $24 billion was invested in WA's mining and petroleum sector - the highest level since 2016.

WA has around $57 billion of resources projects under development and a further $87 billion in medium and longer-term projects in the pipeline.