Australian Mineral Commodities

Australia is fortunate to have abundant and diverse mineral and energy resources. Australia's economic demonstrated resources (EDR) of industrial diamond, gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, rutile, tantalum, uranium, zinc and zircon are the world's largest, while bauxite, coal, copper, ilmenite, lithium, manganese, silver and tin rank in the top five worldwide.

The nation's vast mineral endowment, productive efficiency and cutting edge, innovative support industries allow Australia to remain at the forefront of the resources sector globally.

The strength of the resources sector is critical to Australia's economic performance given its significant contribution to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and export earnings. The sector is also a major Australian employer, both directly and indirectly.

The Australian Government is responsible for issuing permits for the export of rough diamonds and uranium.

Do you want to learn more about Australia’s minerals commodities?

Here is a snapshot of Australia’s minerals commodities including their uses in our everyday lives and contribution to the Australia’s economy and communities:

More information

For more information, see the Office of the Chief Economist website and Geoscience Australia website. The Office of the Chief Economist is an economic research unit within the department producing information and forecasts on production, exports and values for Australia’s major resources and energy commodities. Geoscience Australia is an agency within the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio that has a critical role in producing world class geoscientific information and knowledge.

Fast facts

  • Australia is in the top 5 exporters in the world for, bauxite, alumina, iron ore, zinc, coal and LNG.
  • There are currently over 260 producing mineral, oil and gas operations across Australia.
  • The Australian resources sector has a strong history of innovation, and has developed many specialised technologies to increase productivity, achieve social objectives and generate value for the Australian economy.
  • The sector employed around 228,000 (2015-16), more than double direct employment levels of the early 2000s.
  • There was more than $75 billion invested in the mining industry in 2015-16.
  • Resource and energy exports were valued at $157 billion, accounting for 51% of Australia’s goods and services exports (2015-16).
  • The sector paid $26 billion in wages and salaries (2014-15).
  • $3.2 billion was directed to mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure (2015-16).
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