WA mining had record sales in 2022 and employment in Mid West at highest in more than 20 years

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Ramelius Resources' Mt Magnet gold project in the Mid West.
Camera IconRamelius Resources' Mt Magnet gold project in the Mid West. Credit: Ramelius Resources

Mining jobs in the Mid West have hit a record peak, as the local sector injected almost $5 billion into the WA economy last year.

WA mining had a record year in 2022, with $246 billion in sales to go along with peak employment in the Mid West, according to newly released Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety figures.

The local sector dipped in resource sales, accounting for $4.8 billion last year and two per cent of the State’s resources sales, down from being just over $5 billion last year.

On a high note, employment numbers in the Mid West mining sector in 2021-22 were at its peak in the 21-year history the data has been tracked.

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There were 8112 mining full-time equivalents (FTE) in 2021-22 in the Mid West.

This is 346 more positions than the year before and represents a 63 per cent jump in five years. The previous employment peak in the Mid West was 6248 FTEs in 2012-13.

Mid West Development Commission chief executive officer Nils Hay said “mining is the largest employer within the Mid West region, currently supporting approximately 3900 workers.”

“The sector has been a consistent employer for the past decade, due to the diversity of resources mined and a strong exploration and mining support services sector,” he said.

“Geraldton plays a critical role in the provision of key export infrastructure (port, heavy rail and airport) for resource operations, as well as the supply of skilled labour and public and private support services.”

The biggest resource for WA was gold, with sales of $17.8 billion, the mineral fields around the Mid West contributed to this, adding more than $2 billion dollars in gold and silver sales, with production increasing.

Mount Magnet had a record year production year, supplying over 1.5 million oz of gold in the year, which was the highest out of all the mineral fields in the State by a wide margin.

“The Mid West is one of Australia’s most diverse mining provinces, with products including gold, silver, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, mineral sands, rare earths, talc and vanadium” Mr Hay said.

Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston said that mining continued to help the State’s economy grow.

“Investment in the sector and project construction will continue to deliver benefits to local communities and underpin economic growth in regional WA for years to come,” he said.

Mid West Region Commodity Values ($ Million) - 2022

Gold and Silver: 2,038,150,333

Iron ore and Manganese ore: 1,282,914,871

Copper, Lead and Zinc: 1,090,782,914

Mineral Sands: 279,503,333

Domestic Gas and Crude Oil: 107,234,594

Talc, Limesand Limestone and Gypsum: 16,191,153

Clays: 1,044,299

Construction Materials: 457,879

Gem and Semi Precious Stones: 61,642

Total: 4,816,341,019

Mid West Local Government Area Values ($ Million) - 2022

Meekatharra and Sandstone: 1,396,673,206

Perenjori: 1,081,704,132

Yalgoo and Murchison: 794,802,198

Cue: 709,151,715

Mt Magnet: 430,765,632

Carnamah and Three Springs: 167,444,421

Northampton: 125,455,662

Irwin: 108,801,873

Coorow: 1,542,179

Total: 4,816,341,

Mid West Mining FTEs 2021-22

Carnamah: 136

Coorow: 3

Cue: 918

Geraldton: 349

Irwin: 35

Meekatharra: 2394

Mt Magnet: 766

Murchison: 2

Northampton: 160

Perenjori: 1550

Sandstone: 97

Three Springs: 18

Yalgoo: 1684

Total: 8112

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