Western Australia is one of the resource capitals of the world! With the value of the industry (when combined with the oil industry) being over $70 billion, it is hard not see see WA as a major player within the mining industry.

Although the area of the state is over 2 and a half million square kilometers, mining is basically contained to within two main areas – Kalgoorlie and the Pilbara region. Inside these two areas, and a couple of other pockets of land is a large number of mine sites of varying sizes – from the monstrous Superpit to small private mines.

I this article I want to highlight a few of the largest mines in Western Australia and give you a bit of background information on each one, such as what they mine, who they are owned by other interesting facts.

Let’s kick things off with the biggest:

The Superpit – Kalgoorlie

Australia’s largest open pit mine, owned by mining giants BHP Billiton, the open cut is about 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and 360 metres deep – which means you would actually be able to see it from outer space!

The Superpit is a gold mine that employs over 500 people directly and a whole lot more indirectly. They are currently producing in excess of 25 tonnes of gold a year.

Cloudbreak Mine – Pilbara

Own by Fortesque Metals Group and based in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the Cloudbreak mine is an iron ore mine that only started construction in 2006. However, the mine opened for production in 2008 and is currently producing 39 tonnes of iron ore a year and the company aims to over double this annual production by the end of 2012.

Argyle Diamond Mine – Kimberly Region

As the name suggestions the Argyle mine does in fact mine diamonds – 20% of the worlds diamonds to be precise. Owned by another large mining company, Rio Tinto, the Argyle Diamond Mine is best known for producing pink diamonds, making up 90% of global supply.

As you can see by the sheer quantities of resources that these mines are producing, Western Australia is a big contributor to the global resource market. This means a lot of work for locals and considering most are fifo jobs there are also options available for people around Australia if you have the qualifications and experience.

 

 



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