There is a growing interest in the application of evolutionary concepts and methodologies in understanding the dynamics of capitalist space economies. This paper contributes to these debates through an analysis of income growth and employment in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. While much of the work on 'evolutionary economic geography' has focused on core industrial and service economies, the Pilbara offers a unique context within which to test some of the emerging conceptual claims. Using simple econometric models, the paper shows the path-dependent nature of development in the Pilbara. It also points to the need to develop local models of resource economies as a means of better understanding the peculiar dynamics of change operating at these finer spatial scales.