Mineral Economics

, Volume 31, Issue 1–2, pp 153–170 | Cite as

The end of the mining boom? A Western Australian perspective

  • Philip MaxwellEmail author
Original Paper


Throughout the history of its European settlement, Western Australia (WA) has derived great benefit during its mining boom periods. This was the case with the gold rushes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also occurred in the four decades after 1960 when the state became a major exporter of iron ore, alumina nickel, mineral sands, diamonds and natural gas to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian economies as well as its more established production and export of gold into world markets. The present paper assesses developments in the period between 2004 and 2014 and beyond, as the Chinese economy emerged to become WA’s major mineral customer. In relation to other Australian states, it particularly reports on Western Australia’s economic growth rates, per capita GDP, housing price movements, unemployment and workforce participation rates. There is some consideration as well of the public debt challenges recently facing the state. These have been magnified by low levels of return of Goods and Services Tax revenue to Western Australia by the Commonwealth Grants Commission. This is a reflection of the de facto redistribution of WA mining royalties to the other Australian states.


Mining boom Western Australia China Iron ore Royalties Horizontal fiscal equalisation Dutch disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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