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Goldfields Esperance economic profile

Economic profile The data presented in this Economic Profile has been sourced from REMPLAN which uses the most up to date information available.  The Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission has access to the full version of REMPLAN with economic data for 111 industries and an economic impact modelling capability.

Resource sector

The Goldfields-Esperance Region’s economic strength historically developedLoader at Superpit
with the extraction and processing of its mineral resources. As mining deposits were located and progressed, new towns were established such as Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie, Boulder and Norseman. Mining is the Goldfields-Esperance region's most valuable sector and has been central to the development of the region's economy.  Mineral resources in the Goldfields- Esperance region include gold, nickel, cobalt, zinc, copper and silver.

Gold mining constituted 74% of the value of regional mineral production in 2015-16 equating to just over $6.6 billion. As of 2016 the Goldfields-Esperance region accounted for  66.6% of the State gold production and 81.5% of the State nickel and cobalt production*.  The quantity and value of the region's mineral production is inherently linked to global demand and commodity prices.  Other valuable minerals produced in the region include platinum, valladium and lithium.

Value of Minerals and Petroleum  in Goldfields-Esperance Region  by commodity - 2015-16*
Commodity $ Value % Commodity                               $ Value %
Gold 6,619,857,142                74%      Silver                 37,595,538 0.4%
Nickel and Cobalt                 1,921,103,512 21.5% Gypsum and limesand 13,402,266 0.15%
Copper and zinc 142,846,243 1.6% Construction Material and
9,209,550 0.1%
Rare Earth Oxyde, Platinum 
and Palladium
203,379.085 2.3% Other 682,735 <.1%
Total $8,948,076,071        

* Department of Minerals & Petroleum’s Western Australian Minerals and Petroleum Statistics Digest 2015-6


In 2011-12 agriculture production for the Goldfields-Esperance region was estimated at $569 million, accounting for eight per cent of the state's total agricultural value.Crop production accounts for the majority of the total region's agriculture, which in 2011-12 amounted to $474 million* (approximately 83%), 
Cattle grazing near Ravensthorpelivestock disposals (11%) and livestock products (6%). The dominant crops in the region are wheat, barley and canola.Livestock disposals largely consist of cattle, sheep, pig and goat production, with wool being the most significant livestock product.. Cropping and livestock production is predominantly undertaken in the most productive part of the region, being the southern Shires, including Esperance and Ravensthorpe, with extensive livestock and pastoral activities occur in the northern Shires where agricultural land is less productive.
* ABS and Department of Regional Development. Goldfields-Esperance - Region in Profile 2014.

Retail and ManufacturingBoulevard Shopping Centre Esperance

The retail trade is the second largest employer in the region at approximately 7.6% of the total workforce,  closely followed by manufacturing with 7.1% (REMPLAN - 2016). The manufacturing base in the region is driven by the mining industry and consists of fabricated metal product manufacturing, machinery and equipment. There is significant opportunity for an expanded manufacturing sector in the Goldfields to support the development of the region's growing resources sector and other emerging industries.

Fishing and Aquaculture

Commercial fishing in the region principally operates along the coastlines
of the ShiresFishing vessell at Bandy Creek Harbour Esperance of Esperance and Ravensthorpe. The major commercial fisheries of the South Coast bioregion (as defined by the Department of Fisheries) are the abalone fishery, the purse seine fishery targeting pilchards, and a demersal gillnet fishery for sharks. Other smaller commercial fisheries are the long-standing beach seine fishery for Western Australian salmon and herring, a trap fishery targeting southern rock lobsters and deep-water crabs, and the intermittent scallop fishery. There is also a commercial net fishery for finfish operating in a number of south coast estuaries. Detailed information on the South Coast fisheries is available in  the Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of WA 2014-2015

TourismLake Ballard, near Menzies

Tourism destinations in the Goldfields-Esperance region consist of two sub-regions, the coastal Esperance zone and Kalgoorlie mining zone, with activities ranging from  the beaches of Esperance, visiting the national parks to exploring the mines and historical sites of Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie and the Northern Goldfields. Esperance and Ravensthorpe have been identified as one of the top 15 iconic landscapes in Australia, "The Great South West Wedge" and are included in Tourism Australia and Parks's National Landscape Program.