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Mining Activities excluding Iron Ore in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region

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Mining Activities excluding Iron Ore in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region

May 20, 2023 nflg 0 Comments

mining Introduction

“The Pilbara region is Western Australia’s second most northern region. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean to the west, the Northern Territory border to the east and encompasses the Great Sandy Desert to the north east. It covers an area of over 505,000 square kilometers which is approximately 20 per cent of the State’s total area. The Pilbara economy is dominated by the iron ore and petroleum industries and is considered the State’s premier mining region. In 1999/00 the Pilbara contributed over 55 per cent of the value of Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum production. The value of production of the region’s mining and petroleum industries was a world significant $11.7 billion in 1999/00. Iron ore production was valued at $3.7 billion, crude oil at $3.2 billion, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) at $2 billion. Significant contributions also came from natural gas, petroleum – condensate, gold and salt.”

The mining industry, excluding Iron Ore mining, is a major industry and income earner in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Gold, Chromite, Manganese, Tantalum, Salt, Petrochemicals, Copper, Lead and Zinc are the other major resources that are mined in the Pilbara along with Iron Ore. In terms of wealth, the petrochemicals industry is the largest scale operation being conducted in the Pilbara, bringing in approximately 62 % of the regions income. Iron Ore accounts for 36 % whilst other minerals including salt account for approximately 3.8 % of the areas income. The topic of mining activities other than Iron Ore, is an extremely important one as it is the major income earner for the region and accounts for a large slice of the states annual revenue.

Key Points

Petrochemicals are the major income raiser for the region, with natural gas products accounting for 23 % of the regions income, with oil and condensate accounting for about 39 % of the regions annual revenue. (Pilbara Economic Perspective, 2001)

The mining industry, including the Iron Ore industry directly employs around 6000 people, which is around 30% of the workforce in the Pilbara region. The mining industry also employs vast numbers of people indirectly, through construction and manufacturing among others. (Pilbara Economic Perspective, 2001)

There are a number of major inland mineral resources that are mined in the Pilbara. The mines in the region include:
• Mt Olympus – Gold
• Coobina – Chromite
• Wodgina – Tantalum
• Panorama – Copper & Zinc
• Woodie Woodie – Manganese
• Nifty – Copper, Lead & Zinc
• Telfer – Gold
• Maroochydore – Copper, Lead & Zinc
• Whim Creek – Copper
• Port Headland – Salt
• Munni Munni – Platinoids
• Radio Hill – Nickel

The production value for a number of Resources, for the year 1999/2000 is listed below.
Crude Oil: $ 3.2 Billion
LPG: $ 336 Million
LNG: $ 2 Billion
Natural Gas: $ 551.7 Million
Salt: $ 129.5 Million
Gold: $ 138.8 Million
Copper: $ 51.8 Million
Nickel: $56.2 Million
Manganese: $ 25.7 Million

There are a number of projects that have been committed to in the Pilbara region that are of high significance to its economic position. These projects include:

Telfer Gold Mine Expansion – Newcrest Mining Limited -The Telfer gold mine expansion is set to be opened in late 2004. It will employ 1220 people during construction and around 620 under operation. The cost of the development is around 1.2 million Australian dollars.

Cosmos Nickel Mine Underground Development – Jubilee Mines NL – A decline is being constructed the Cosmos Deeps ore body. It will be producing Nickel by the end of 2003. The expenditure is approximately 33 million Australian Dollars.

Sally Malay Nickel Project – Sally Malay Mining Limited – Construction for an open pit and underground decline will start in late 2003, with production forecast for midway through 2004. Expenditure is 50 million Australian Dollars, whilst employment will be 150 people during construction and 120 during operation.

Northwest Shelf Project Expansion – Woodside Energy Limited – The expansion of the offshore LNG plants will cost approximately 2.4 billion Australian Dollars. Employment will be 200 at the construction phase and 70 under operational conditions.

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