The latest figures on Australia's mineral reserves reveal that the mining sector continues to remain the most important export earning sector of the Australian economy, and holds the potential to do so for many decades.
Geoscience Australia's annual review of the commodities industry, Australia's Identified Mineral Resources (AIMR) 2008, shows that Australia has the world's largest resources of mineral sands (rutile and zircon), nickel, uranium, zinc, lead and brown coal.
Compiled from information gathered from the mining and mineral processing industries, the figures also show bauxite, black coal, copper, gold, iron ore, industrial diamond, ilmenite, lithium, manganese ore, niobium, silver, tantalum and antimony rank in the top six worldwide.
During the year Australian mineral exploration spending increased by 41 per cent to more than $2061 million, reflecting strong growth in prices for many commodities on the back of anticipated strong and growing demand, particularly from China. It also reflects the increase in exploration, which resulted in a significant number of extensions of known deposits and several new discoveries in Western Australia, South Australian and New South Wales.
The review also reveals that during 2007 Australia's economic demonstrated resources (of most of our mineral commodities) increased as a result of on-going drilling and re-assessment of known deposits and the discovery of new deposits.
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Editor's Note: Original news release can be found here.