A SURVEY of 23 mining companies has shown the industry is contributing $4.8 billion to the Hunter’s economy – nearly a quarter of the annual gross regional product.
The fifth NSW Minerals Council expenditure survey, which will be released in full in coming weeks, shows the same expenditure ($4.8 billion) as the year before, but this was still more than any other region in the state.
The contribution increased by 3 per cent to 45 per cent of all spending by mining in NSW, the survey found.
The $10.8 billion in direct spending by the mining industry in NSW in 2015/16 included $2.6 billion in wages to 20,999 full-time employees, with $6.9 billion spent in the supply chain. About $1.3 billion was spent in taxes to the state government.
The NSW Minerals Council said despite the survey being conducted in a cyclical downturn, direct spending was only only slightly down on the previous year.
Chief executive of the minerals council, Stephen Galilee, said the Hunter was a standout in the state’s mining sector.
“While total spending is down slightly on the previous year, it’s still higher than when the so-called mining boom started in 2011-12. Over the past three years mining has directly spent $35.7 billion in NSW,” Mr Galilee said.
“And with the dramatic improvement in commodity prices since the survey was taken, and record exports of coal from the Port of Newcastle, mining will continue to make a strong contribution to NSW …”
The survey found mining contributed to 24 per cent of Gross Regional Product in the Hunter; 10.5 per cent in the Central West; 9.6 per cent in the north west; and 7.1 per cent in northern NSW.