• Mining boom returns to WA as diggers rake in record $246b in sales in 2022
  • Lithium sales surge six times over with iron ore and LNG the biggest contributors
  • Miners fall Monday on iron ore price drop


WA’s 2000s hey day was a wild time of excess, when the first iron ore boom sent house prices sky-rocketing, jet skis killed the fish and overtook our estuaries, personalised licence plates ruled the roads, Fridges were only sold with TVs on them and we built a jetty dedicated to the freakin’ Queen.

The world has moved on. Smart phones killed the AV refrigeration unit.

But WA’s mining industry is, quietly, looking just about as strong as it ever has.

The McGowan State Government, just about the most mind-bendingly powerful in the world outside Communist China or the Fire Kingdom, has gleefully issued a decree praising our State’s diggers on a record $246 billion sales haul in 2022.

Iron ore at $126bn is unsurprisingly the king of the mountain, with lower prices only slightly dulling proceedings after record production of 855Mt.

Critical minerals, as Governments are fond of discussing these days thanks to their glossy PR image, were also tasty.

Spodumene exports saw export values rise SIX TIMES to $16.3b. Gold hit a record $17.8b, nickel sales reached a 15 year high at $5.7b and alumina pulled in $6.9b.

Also, some support from a commodity with a not quite so glossy image. LNG production was valued at $51b, up $24b in one year as prices surged following energy rich Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Domestic gas and condensate tipped in “best ever” sales of $2.2b and $9b, with crude oil at an eight year high of $4.1b.

All up a record 117,970 full time equivalent jobs were provided in the State’s mining industry, with $26b of investments in 2022. They have been on the rise for 14 straight quarters with $60b of projects under construction or committed, showing the sector ain’t goin’ nowhere anytime soon.


Lithium stocks shine as iron ore players trip up

When it comes to the ASX today it was the battery metals stocks in the box seat.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) hit a month high and is quietly up 16.57% year to date with a more than 5% rise today.

The trigger seems to be news out of one of Australia’s big competitors, Chile, that it will take steps to nationalise lithium extraction.

The calls could see companies invest more heavily in WA, producer of around 50% of the world’s lithium units through its large network of privately owned spodumene mines.

Albemarle, a major producer in Chile’s Atacama Desert, has signalled the importance of WA to its future with a (rejected) more than $5 billion bid for advanced developer Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR). It already owns 49% of the Greenbushes mine and 50% of the Wodgina mine in Australia.

MinRes (ASX:MIN) also rose sharply despite its exposure to iron ore, which had a very down day.

Singapore futures fell 2.9% to under US$105/t with Dalian futures also down a hefty 3% as concerns over downstream steel demand emerged in China.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) all fell, leading the ASX materials sector to a 1.65% drop.



Monstars share price today: