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Mining capability overview

Mining- Left

Mining- Right

One of the most significant mining nations in the world, Australia has the world’s largest economic resources of lead, mineral sands, tantalum, uranium, silver and zinc.

Australia has the third largest minerals sector, by value of production, after the US and South Africa.

Australia exports minerals and mining equipment, services and technologies.

Fast facts


  • Top global producer of bauxite, alumina, diamonds [by volume], ilmenite, rutile and zircon; (ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana).

  • Second largest producer of zinc ore (after China).

  • Third largest producer of iron ore (after China and Brazil), nickel (after the Russian Federation and Canada) and gold (after South Africa and the USA).

  • Fifth largest producer of aluminium (after the USA, Russian Federation, China and Canada) and coal (after China, USA, India and former Soviet Union).

  • World’s largest resources of low-cost uranium.

  • Largest exporter of gold, iron ore and black coal in the world. 

(Source: Minerals Council of Australia)

Economic contribution

Mining has contributed $500 billion directly to Australia’s wealth over the past 20 years and in 2003-04, Australian mining contributed 8.5 per cent of GDP in 2003-04.  In 2002-3, minerals generated $42 billion in exports – 35 per cent of Australia’s total merchandise exports. (Source: Minerals Council of Australia)

Export markets

Australia’s major export markets are Asia, China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

Mining equipment, services and technologies

Australia has a world-class reputation for mining equipment, services and technologies. Born out of necessity, from developing mineral deposits in remote, harsh environments, Australia has developed and perfected technology to cope with the toughest conditions. Mining equipment had to be robust as it was too expensive to maintain in remote areas.

Australian mining companies have experience supplying huge, internationally competitive resource projects in difficult operating environments 

Mining equipment supplied by Australia includes:

  • conveyor systems
  • grinding mills
  • slurry pumps
  • strata reinforcement systems
  • power transformers
  • office and living accommodation
  • safety equipment

Australia’s comprehensive mining services include airborne geophysical surveys, geological exploration and sample analysis service, mine planning, design, construction and management, equipment repairs and servicing, contract mining, workforce training and mine site catering.

Some of Australia’s most successful technologies are niche products in e-business and environmental solutions.

Fast facts


  • Sixty per cent of mining software used globally is Australian.

  • Fifty per cent of Australian mining support firms export products or services.

  • A conservative estimate of the value of mining equipment, services and technologies exports is US$2 billion per annum.

  • Australia exports mining equipment, services to over 50 countries including South America - especially Chile, Peru, Argentina and Brazil, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China, India, North America and Europe.

(Source: Austmine 2005 Directory)


The Australian contribution to mineral exploration software is internationally recognised and Australian software has become the benchmark for the industry. 

The days when prospectors stumbled on rich mineral deposits are over. Today, geoscientists use remote sensing technology, combined with satellite search and airborne and ground geophysics, to locate new mineral resource deposits. Promising areas can then be targeted and charted in detail using photogrammetric techniques.

A number of Australian companies have also established a niche service in validating and archiving exploration data. Their software provides clients with a fully serviced, database that can be quickly access by authorised users, yet is secure against theft, loss or corruption.

Australian remote sensing technology, advanced exploration equipment and resource estimation software have been used over difficult terrain in countries such as Chile, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, India and Pakistan.

Australia’s expertise in exploration includes:

  • satellite and airborne geophysics
  • geophysical and geochemical analysis
  • exploration and mining software
  • data acquisition and validation
  • analytical data quality assessment
  • statistical analysis
  • 3D modelling and interpretation
  • exploration database systems and services
  • geostatistical analysis and resource estimation
  • grade control analysis

(Source: Austmine)

Success story

Bullet point image MineARC's refuge shelters in world-wide demand

Search our Australian Suppliers Database

For more information please visit: - Austmine - The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development

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