The mining industry in Australia primarily focuses in the exploration for minerals and mining of the minerals found after exploration has been carried out and that it has been found feasible to start a new mine. The minerals excavated include but are not limited to coal, bauxite, diamonds, nickel, gold, alumina, and rutile. Mining is the top industry in Australia and one of the most important as it provides direct and indirect benefits to all Australians and other nationals residing in Australia.
During the past few years, there has been a tremendous growth in the demand for minerals in the global market. Many companies in the resources sector are now expanding their operations and have started to look into the unexplored territories of the Australia for the minerals that are in high demand.
There was a big shortage for skilled workers during the years 2007 and 2008 in the areas of key trades, operator and professional skills. There has been an estimation that the demand of various skills will keep on increasing till 2020, when the mining industry will be on its global economic boom.
At present, the number of people employed by the Australian mining industry is more than 130,000. This figure does not include the oil and gas industry and the indirect employment generated by the mining industry. If all the people directly or indirectly employed by the mining industry are taken into count, then this figure will amount to 320,000 people. A majority of this population lives in the sparsely populated, remote and regional Australia.