Western Australia could well be on the cusp of another mining boom.
Whether it’s iron ore or natural gas, our state has made a name for itself as a provider of natural resources, and recent activities tell us that we can expect a surge in the industry’s growth in the near future.
Most of WA’s resources exports are in the form of iron ore, and steadily increasing demand from China has led to a 6% rise in production and prices jumping up around 30%.
Rio Tinto recently opened its Silvergrass mine in the Pilbara – spearheading plans to replace depleted mines in the area – and has already approved an injection of US$100 million to further improve projects.
What’s more, the company is in discussions to roll out an additional US$1 billion of investment by 2020.
Meanwhile, BHP is hoping to approve US$3.2 billion for the development of its Pilbara operation at South Flank, boosting its capacity enormously.
Liquid natural gas production is also at a high, with total sales up close to 20%. Add to that Chinese company Tianqi’s plans to ramp up lithium mining in the state, and WA could be all set for extraordinary levels of export sales.
Of course, that can only be good for the economy, and recruiters are already noting a surge in the mining employment sector. Aside from a 30% rise in available jobs in WA, there’s been increased interest from workers in developing the skills they need to secure employment in the industry. For example, WesTrac recently reported that the number of apprentices applying to train with the equipment has doubled in the last year.
All of this is great news… but it gets better if you’re in the market for a home. These signs of a resurgent economy and a rise in employment prospects are coinciding with the news that Perth’s housing is at the most affordable it has been for 20 years. The figures come from the Housing Industry Association, which has said much of the reason is due to a drop in interest rates.
Long story short? With housing more easily achievable, the prospect of an uptick in the state economy and a surge in new jobs, WA could well be the best place to settle down if you’re in the market to buy.