The Australian Minerals Industry Fact Sheet

Industry Definition and Contribution

Australian Minerals Industry Fact SheetThe Australian minerals industry is defined as covering the exploration and mining of minerals (including coal) and the associated minerals processing industry. The Minerals Council of Australia, in representing the industry nationally and internationally, is committed to contributing to the sustained growth and prosperity of current and future generations through the integration of sound financial management, responsible social development and effective environmental management.


Minerals exploration generally improved across most commodities over 2009 including base metals such as nickel and cobalt, as well as gold and coal. There were slight declines at the end of 2009 for iron ore, minerals sands, uranium and diamonds. Both spending and metres drilled lifted across 2009 after declines from the middle of 2008.


The Australian minerals sector is in the top five producers of most of the world’s key minerals commodities including:

  • The world’s leading producer of bauxite, alumina, rutile, and tantalum;
  • The second largest producer of lead, ilmenite, zircon and lithium;
  • The third largest producer of iron ore, uranium, and zinc;
  • The fourth largest producer of black coal, gold, manganese and nickel; and
  • The fifth largest producer of aluminium, brown coal, diamonds, silver and copper.

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