Mining has been a driving force for much of the exploration of Australia's remote inland and for Australia's industrial development, from the gold rushes of the 19th Century, through the iron ore and nickel booms of the 1960s, through the later growth of the coal industry, and to the current booming demand for minerals to fuel the industrial growth of much of the rest of the world.

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Australia has benefited greatly from the current resources boom, reflected in high rates of economic growth, record low levels of unemployment and increasing incomes for Australians.

Mining companies operating in Australia benefit from a stable regulatory environment with low sovereign risk and access to a highly skilled workforce and world leading technologies. These factors have allowed mining operations in Australia remain amongst the lowest cost in the world.

Mining is a significant primary industry and contributor to the Australian economy.

Australia's Mineral Commodities

The department has policy responsibility for a number Australia's mineral commodities of Australia's mineral commodities. Australia's mineral resource sector covers the exploration, extraction and processing of resources such as coal, uranium, iron ore, nickel, bauxite, gold, lead, copper, zinc, mineral sands and diamonds. Major processing industries include cement, base metal smelting and refining, conversion of bauxite into alumina and aluminium and iron ore into iron and steel.

National Mine Safety Framework

National Mine Safety Framework (NMSF) is an initiative of the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources which aims to achieve a nationally consistency Legislative and occupational health and safety regime for the Australian mining industry.

Offshore exploration and mining

Australia's Offshore exploration and mining is the exploration for, and mining of, minerals beyond Australia's coastal baseline.

Working in partnership with the states and the Northern Territory, the department assists in the awarding of exploration permits and other titles, and the regulation of industry activities.

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