Western Australia is the world’s largest iron ore producer and exporter.

The rapid growth in China’s iron ore demand since the early-2000s led to a substantial rise in prices and Western Australia’s iron ore producers responded by investing tens of billions of dollars in new mines and rail and port infrastructure.

Western Australia’s iron ore sales almost trebled over the past decade, from 291 million tonnes in 2007-08 to 826 million tonnes in 2017-18. After years of strong growth, Western Australia’s iron ore sales are slowing, as recently completed projects ramp up to full production.

The increase in global iron ore supply coupled with a slowdown in China’s demand, saw iron ore prices fall in recent years. Western Australia’s iron ore industry remains globally competitive with large iron ore reserves, low cost supply and established long-term trade relationships with major Asian steel makers and trading companies.

The department publishes a statistical profile of the iron ore industry in Western Australia. This publication looks at:

  • Western Australia’s position in the global iron ore market
  • Western Australia’s competitiveness and sales of iron ore
  • The iron ore industry’s contribution to Western Australia’s economy.

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