Mining Down Under: Australian Mining Fast Facts

As you know, mining is the extraction of minerals and from the Earth. But what you may not realize is that while mining is considered more of a traditional profession, it still plays a huge role in the economy of the countries and regions that it is performed in.


One great example is Australia, where it’s estimated that more than 2 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in the mines. Employment in the mines has had a trickle-down effect on job creation throughout the rest of the country too, as it is estimated that 7 percent of total employment creation over the past seven years is a direct result from the mining industry.

Here’s a look at some other fast facts about mining in Australia:


Most of the 217,000-plus miners in Australia (45,800) work in exploration and mining support services. About 75,900 work in metal ores, followed by nearly 52,000 that work in the coal mines. About 20,000 work in unclassified areas, 12,600 in oil and gas and 7,600 in non-metallic and quarrying.



Mining in Australia is good for the economy, specifically when it comes to exports. In 2011, mining exports accounted for 11.4 percent of the nation’s GDP and account for 52.8 percent of the value of all exports from Australia. Consider the fact that Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal, iron ore, lead and diamonds, the second largest of gold and the third largest exporter of aluminum. Furthermore, it’s estimated that about $206 billion is exported in minerals each year.

High profits

The likes of mining equipment and mining machines help the profession achieve high profits. For instance, in Australia, it’s estimated that the profit margins from mining are 37 percent. To put that into perspective, consider that profit margins with manufacturing are usually only about 6 percent.


Miners in Australia are well trained and compensated well for their work. It’s estimated that about $1.1 billion is invested annually in training and education within the industry. Miners also earn more than most other industrial workers. In fact, it’s estimated that median weekly earnings are 73.5 percent higher than other industries.


As you can see from these fast facts, mining not only plays a big role in the US but within Australian economy as well  US– and as the industry continues to boom, these numbers and economic impact are likely to only increase for the better.

  • Amy Donahue


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