15 March 2024

South Australian mineral and petroleum exports increased by a remarkable 14.3 per cent to more than $5 billion in 2023, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures.

Of South Australia's $17.9 billion export record in 2023 reported by the ABS, the resources sector contributed $5 billion, according to ABS data. However, this does not include a further $2 billion in confidential energy and mineral goods – mainly copper ores and uranium.

More than $3 billion of this $7 billion total came from iron and steel, refined copper and lead - highlighting the significance of our energy and mining sectors in driving South Australian’s export growth.

Copper’s indispensability to electrification technologies makes it a critical mineral for global decarbonisation. Forecasts predicting a surge in global copper demand surpassing current supply capabilities presents a very big opportunity for South Australia.

We host 70 per cent of Australia’s copper resource. We’re in prime position to open up opportunities for growing our economy through our resource exports and assist other countries as they transition to low carbon economies.

While copper was a significant export driver, our iron ore exports reached almost $1.2 billion for the 2023 calendar year - but there is a bigger opportunity.

We’re home to 16.8 billion tonnes of magnetite iron resource in the Northern Gawler, Southern Gawler and Braemar provinces that could be beneficiated here – using hydrogen.

The resources sector is already a pillar of South Australia’s economy. Exporting a value-added green product would be game-changing.