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WA resources sector continues to drive jobs

The Western Australian resources sector delivered a record number of full-time equivalent jobs in 2023 while also achieving sales of $246 billion.

The 130,165 full time jobs was an increase of more than 12,000 positions, with the jump driven by strong levels of mining and construction activity.

Iron ore remained a highlight for the state, recording $139 billion of sales with a production high of 860 million tonnes. This was an increase of $13 billion from 2022 and was the second-highest level of production for a single calendar and financial year.

According to the Western Australian Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Rio Tinto’s ramp-up of its Gudai-Darri iron ore mine to nameplate capacity was a significant contributor to the state’s favourable iron ore results.

Mount Gibson Iron also contributed to the result, achieving record shipments from its Koolan Island project.

Gold sales also hit an all-time high, reaching $20 billion on the back of high gold prices. It is now considered WA’s second most valuable mineral after iron ore, a position previously held by lithium.

Red 5 and Ramelius Resources came out on top for WA gold, with Red 5 expanding its King of the Hills project amid its continuing production ramp-up and Ramelius processing greater ore tonnes from its Penny project.

Mineral exploration in WA also saw a new high, reaching $2.6 billion in 2023 and more than $31 billion was invested in WA’s mining and petroleum sector across 2023.

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