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Australia's mining industry growth slowed last year - report

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(Kitco News) - The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported today that in 2020, the domestic mining sector, while showing continued growth in all key data items, slowed from the previous year.

The report revealed that mining EBITDA growth of 14.2% ($19.4b) slowed from 29.9% ($31.3b) in 2018-19. ABS said that this growth was mainly driven by the 8.7% ($26.2b) rise in sales and service income offset by growth in expenses (excluding interest expenses and depreciation and amortisation) of 5.6% ($9.3b).

According to ABS, mining earnings growth was driven by metal ore mining and constrained by coal mining. The metal ore mining subdivision was driven mainly by the iron ore mining class, which rose 46.3% ($21.9b). Reduced coal prices influenced the 28.0% (-$8.4b) lower EBITDA for coal mining sector.

The export price index for mining grew 3.5% between 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years, and 17.9% between calendar years 2018 and 2019. Large export growth benefitted the metal ore mining subdivision with EBITDA increasing by 40.8%.

ABS added that employment for the mining industry increased by 9,000 people (5.1%) driven by growth in the metal ore mining subdivision which increased employment by 7,000 people (10.0%). Employment growth was reported in both the iron ore mining class (4,000 people, 11.9%) and the gold ore mining class (2,000 people, 12.1%).

The mining industry contributed $186.7b (35.0%) to sales and service income for Western Australia. For Western Australia and the Northern Territory, mining and construction were the industries with the largest share of wages and salaries.

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