The North West is Western Australia’s primary mining region, where minerals and petroleum are produced on an international scale. It is a vast region encompassing the Pilbara with a land area of over half a million square kilometres as well as extensive oil and gas fields off the coast.
The development of the resources sector in the North West has been the catalyst for the growth of the Western Australian economy in the latter half of the twentieth century. Resources companies are the primary driving force of the Pilbara economy which is often referred to as the ‘economic heart’ of Western Australia.
The value of resources production from the North West was over $100 billion in 2013, contributing to almost 80 per cent of the state’s total. Commodities produced in the region include iron ore, copper, gold and silver, manganese and salt, and a range of hydrocarbons including crude oil and condensate, liquefied natural gas, natural gas, LPG Butane and Propane.
Approximately 500 million tonnes of iron ore were exported in 2012/13. Iron ore from the Pilbara had total sales value of nearly $80 billion (2012/13) which makes it the leading commodity. Many new projects have recently been completed as well as expansions to existing projects.
Western Australia’s largest oil and gas field is the Carnarvon Basin off the north-west coast. Following the discovery in 1971/1972 of the North West Shelf gas fields the North West Shelf Venture has seen $27 billion invested in facilities that make up Australia’s largest oil and gas resource development. Australia’s biggest resource project, the Gorgon Joint Venture LNG project, is set for development at an estimated cost of $63billion and a further $19.6 billion of offshore committed projects are to be developed. The petroleum sector accounted for $25.38 billion of production in 2013.
Mining of nickel, gold, copper and manganese also continues in the Pilbara. There are also significant uranium deposits in the Pilbara, most notably Kintyre which is the second largest known deposit in Western Australia.
Companies in the North West make substantial economic contributions, both direct and indirect which have a huge positive impact locally, regionally and nationally. They inject millions of dollars directly into the region through salaries and wages, payments of taxes and royalties to governments and through the support of local suppliers, contractors and other businesses.
CME in the North West
Within the North West Region CME is focused on the following strategies to deliver the industry’s vision:
- Sustainable regional hubs and communities
- Social infrastructure provided by government; supported by industry.
Infrastructure and Planning
- An industry-government infrastructure plan for state and regional development
- Coordination between the responsibilities of government, industry and community in the provision of social and physical infrastructure
- Effective regulatory capacity frameworks.
- Access to an appropriately skilled workforce
- Increase the size of the skilled labour pool.
- Industry-wide technology solutions.
North West Regional Council
The North West Regional Council is chaired by Mr Chris Cottier of BHP Billiton Iron Ore.
The manager of North West is Chub Witham who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org