A report released today by Deloitte Access Economics – Mining and METS: engines of economic growth and prosperity for Australians – reveals that the total economic contribution of Australia’s mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector was $236.8 billion in 2015-16.

The report, commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia, shows that the mining and METS sector accounts for around 15 per cent of the Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) – representing a major contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity.

Mining and METS activities support a total of 1.1 million jobs across Australia, representing approximately 10 per cent of total employment.

Deloitte Access Economics’ new modelling applies a similar method to the Reserve Bank’s 2013 Research Discussion Paper Industry Dimensions of the Resource Boom: An Input-Output Analysis.

While the benefits of mining and METS activities are distributed across Australia, there are a number of regional areas where the sector makes a particularly significant economic contribution:

  • The Pilbara region (WA), with a total economic contribution of $37.8 billion (88 per cent of total regional economic activity) and 93,800 jobs (direct and indirect)
  • The Bowen-Surat region (QLD), with a total economic contribution of $18.6 billion, which represented (63 per cent of total regional economic activity) and 99,700 jobs (direct and indirect)
  • The Hunter region (NSW), with a total economic contribution of $15.2 billion (34 per cent of total regional economic activity) and 93,600 jobs (direct and indirect).

The report by Deloitte Access Economics also features ten case studies of mining and METS companies, which demonstrate that innovation and technological improvements are central to the efficiency and global competitiveness of the sector.

The case studies include examples of mining and METS innovation ranging from the use of drones and semi-autonomous earth moving equipment in mining operations to use of sophisticated mine design and modelling software and data analytics.

The productivity benefits of innovation highlighted in these case studies include reduced operating costs, extending the productive life of mines, higher yields, safety improvements, and higher workforce satisfaction and productivity.

Deloitte Access Economics further points out that Australia’s comparative advantage in mining and METS not only hinges on innovation; it also depends on policies that strengthen competition, support the accumulation of skills and capital, and enable firms to respond flexibly to changing market conditions. 

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