29+ Mining Statistics to Dig Up Your Interest in 2022

Mining Statistics

Did you know that the iron ore mining industry in Australia is the second most profitable industry in the country? Or that Australia holds the world record for the largest gold nugget ever found in the world?

Stay put and let us guide you through some magnificent mining statistics and facts we bet you didn’t know.

Ten Fascinating Facts & Stats about Mining

  • With 10.4%, the mining industry is one of the biggest contributions to the Australian economy.
  • The Australian mining industry had a gross added value of $97.735 billion.
  • The mining industry in Australia has approximately 271,300 employees.
  • In 2020, there were $103.95 billion exports of iron ore and concentrates from Australia.
  • In 2020, the exported value of gold in Australia was over $25 billion.
  • Australia holds the world record for the largest gold nugget found, weighing 72 kg.
  • Around 62,000 Aussies are working in the coal mining industry.
  • In January 2022, the coal price in Australia was US$196.95 for a metric ton.
  • 328 metric tonnes of gold were produced in Australia mines in 2020.
  • In 2020, there were five fatalities in the mining industry in Australia.

General Mining Statistics

1. Rio Tinto is the number one mining company in the world, with a net profit of US$9.77 billion.

(Statista) 

In the second place, there’s BHP with US$6.97 billion, China Shenhua Energy with US$6.42 billion, and the South-African Impala Platinum Holdings with a net profit of US$2.74 billion in 2021.

2. In 2021, Canada had the largest mining exploration budget with an increase of US$800.5 million.

(Statista) (Natural resources Canada)

Compared to 2020, Canada and Australia had the largest mining exploration budgets in 2021. The exploration budget for 2021 of the mining industry in Australia is at second place in the world, with a US$531.3 million increase, compared to 2020. 

3. Russia has the biggest amount of natural resources worth US$75.7 trillion.

(Basic Planet)

With coal, oil, gold, gas, and timber worth US$75.7 trillion, Russia is the world leader for the availability of natural resources. The United States is next on the list, with the possession of natural gas, gold, copper, and oil, which are estimated to be US$45 trillion. 

Australia takes 8th place globally with a natural resources value of US$19.9 trillion and is one of the biggest exporters of coal, uranium and LNG.

4. Copper has the longest extraction period, and it is between five and 70 years.

(Statista)

The digging of natural resources isn’t endless, and every commodity has a different extraction period. The mining process of metallurgical coal can take from 2 to 35 years, while the extraction of platinum can be a minimum of 3, and a maximum of 30 years.

5. With a depth of 1.2 km, Bingham Canyon (US) is the world’s deepest open-pit mine.

(Mining Technology) (Nature)

Ever wondered how many mines exist in the world? Data shows there are more than 35,000 mines and let’s see the deepest open-pit mines. 

After Bingham Canyon comes the Chuquicamata Copper mine in Chile, with 850 metres depth, and the Udanchny pit that is 630 m deep. One of the Australian mines is also on this list and it is the Fimiston Gold Mine, or the Super Pit, with a depth of 600 metres.

Mining Industry Statistics Australia

6. The Australian mining industry had a gross added value of AU$97.735 billion. 

(Statista) 

In the period from 2019 to 2020, the mining industry of Australia had 11.1% gross value added (GVA), and as of June 2021, the GVA of the industry was around AU$97.735 billion.

7. The mining industry is one of the biggest contributions to the Australian economy.

(Australian Mining)

What percentage of the economy is mining in Australia? In the period from 2019 to 2020 it was 10.4%, and between 1999-2000 this percentage was only 4.6%. 

8. EBITDA of the mining industry in Australia in 2020 was AU$155.52 billion.

(Statista) (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The earnings of the mining industry in Australia before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation in the period from 2018 to 2019 was AU$33.7 billion. The financial year of 2020 brought one of the highest EBITDA recorded with approximately AU$155.52 billion.

9. The mining industry in Australia has around 271,300 employees. 

(Labour Market Information Portal) (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 

The average age of the workers in the mining industry is 41 years old.  According to the Australian mining industry statistics, 2.1% of the workforce of the country are working in mines in Australia.

10. The United States has the biggest proven reserves of 250.2 billion tonnes of coal.

(Mining Technology)

Other  top countries worldwide with coal reserves are:

  • Russia – 160.3 billion tonnes
  • Australia – 147.4 billion tonnes
  • China – 138.8 billion tonnes
  • India – 101.3 billion tonnes

11.  The United States has the largest reserves of gold counting 8,133.47 tonnes.

(Gold)

The US is followed by the 3,359 tonnes of Germany’s gold reserves, and after them comes Italy with 2,451, France with 2,436, and Russia with 2,301 tonnes. 

Mining Trade Statistics Australia

12. In the last quarter of 2021, the coal exports from Australia were AU$23.8 billion.

(Ministers for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) (Minerals)

The natural resources of coal have a huge role in the exports in Australia. Around 213 mt of thermal coal were exported in 2019-2020.

The coal exports have reached an excellent growth of 156% in the last quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. 

13. In January 2021, the export value of Metalliferous Ores and Metal Scrap was AU$12.915 million.

(Trading Economics)

The January 2022 metalliferous ores and metal scrap exports in Australia have mildly increased to AU$12.588 million in comparison to the AU$12.575 million in December 2021.

14. In 2020 there were AU$103.95 billion exports of iron ore and concentrates from Australia.

(Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) (Trading economics)

In June 2021, the Australian exports of iron ore and concentrates reached the highest amount since 1988 and they were worth AU$17.637 million. The overall Australia mining exports of these natural resources in 2020 were AU$103.95 billion.

15. In 2020 the exported value of gold in Australia was over AU$25 billion.

(Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) 

The 26% increase in world prices caused bigger Australian gold exports in 2020, reaching over AU$25 billion. Australia has noticed a 9.1% higher export rate in 2020, compared to 2019.

Coal Mining Statistics Australia

16. In 2019 Australia produced 506.7 million tonnes of coal.

(BP Statistical Review of World Energy)

Australia is the second-largest thermal coal exporter in the world and is in fourth place for black coal resources.

In 2019, Australia produced 13.15 exajoules of which only 1.78 exajoules are consumed in the country.

17. In the fiscal year of 2020, the Australian coal industry had a total income of AU$73.28 billion.

(Statista) (Statista)

The coal mining statistics Australia show that 2019 was one of the best years of the coal mining industry in Australia, as it collected an income of AU$87.04 billion.

The gross added value of coal mining activities in 2020 was AU$46.86 billion. As of June 2021, the coal industry had a GVA of over AU$22.2 billion.

18. Around 62,000 Aussies are working in the coal mining industry. 

(Australian Mining)

The highest number of employees in the coal mining industry was documented in the period from September to November 2020, counting 62,000. This is an increase of 22.2% compared to the previous period when there were only 49,600 employees in the coal industry.

19. In January 2022, the coal price in Australia was US$196.95 for a metric ton.

(Ycharts) (The global economy)

From 1970, till the most recent data from 2022, the average value of coal prices in Australia was US$48.74 per metric ton. The lowest price ever recorded was in January 1970, when one metric ton of coal cost US$7.8. The highest price was reached in October 2021, and it was US$224.51.

Gold Mining Statistics Australia

20. Australia holds the world record for the largest gold nugget found weighing 72 kg.

(Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources)

The golden nugget, called the Welcome Stranger, is the largest gold found in the world, weighing 72 kg and 61 cm long. It was found in 1869 in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia.

21. 328 metric tonnes of gold were produced in Australia mines in 2020.

(Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) (Kitko) 

Australia is the second-largest gold producing country after China, with 328 tonnes of gold produced in 2020. The biggest gold Australia mines and their numbers for the first quarter of 2021 are:

  • Cadia-Ridgeway Mine – 180 koz.
  • Boddington 152 koz.
  • Tanami 117 koz.
  • Kalgoorlie 111 koz.
  • Fosterville 109 koz.

22. OceanaGold Corporation had a 20% year-on-year growth in 2021, producing 362.8 koz. of gold. 

(Kitko)

Meanwhile, Evolution Mining Limited produced 681 koz. of gold in the financial year of 2021.

23. In 2019/20, the leading market for gold exports from Australia was the United Kingdom, worth AU$12.8 billion.

(Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources)

Following the gold exports to the United Kingdom, there’s Hong Kong, with exports worth AU$3.376 million. Other major destinations for Australian gold exports are the United States with AU$3.112 million, Switzerland with AU$1.919 million, Singapore with AU$1.438 million, and the gold exports to China worth AU$832 million.

Mining Companies Statistics

24. The Canadian Barrick Gold is the number one mining company based on market capitalisation with US$44.94 billion.

(Statista)

Other leading companies that are working with extracting valuable resources taking into consideration their market value are Zijin Mining Group from China, with US$44.21 billion, Anglo American Platinum from South Africa with US$33.88 billion, and the Canadian Franco-Nevada with US$29.25 billion.

25. The top leading metals and mining companies in Australia are BHP Group, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, Newcrest Mining, and South32.

(NS Energy Business)

BHP Group specialises in the mining of petroleum and metals and generates revenues of more than AU$43 billion annually.

26. Considering the market capitalisation, the largest mid-tier mining company in Australia is Alumina Limited, worth AU$4.68 billion.

(Statista)

In second place is Mineral Resources Limited, with AU$3.98 billion, Iluka Resources Limited (AU$3.61 billion) in third, and OZ Minerals Limited (AU$3.55 billion) in fourth.

27. Newcrest Mining is among the biggest gold mines in Australia by market capitalization, with AU$19.34 billion.

(Statista)

The top list also includes Northern Star Resources Limited (AU$10.55 billion), Evolution Mining Limited (AU$7.22 billion), and Chalice Mining Limited (AU$2.65 billion).

28. The largest industry transaction between June 2020 and October 2021 was Northern Star Resources Limited acquiring Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited, with a AU$5.1 billion deal value.

(Statista)

Other successful transactions include Orocobre Limited acquiring Galaxy Resources Limited ($1.840 billion), and Regis Resources Limited acquiring Tropicana Project ($889 million).

Mining Accidents in Australia

29. In 2020, there were five fatalities in the mining industry in Australia.

(Safe Work Australia Report) (Mine accidents)

How many deaths are caused by mining? The fatalities in the mining industry have decreased in 2020, compared to the previous years. The fatality rate in 2020 per 100,000 workers at mines in Australia was 2.1. 

Bottom Line 

Looking at these mining statistics, we can see that the mining industry is a promising pillar in the Australian economy and Australian mines are a popular choice to work for in the country. 

The Australian mining industry statistics will contribute to a better understanding of the sector and its features. 

Sources:

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