Port Hedland a massive cornerstone of WA economy – report

A new report into the significance of the port of Port Hedland has found that the port and its supply chain contributed A$54.7-billion to the Western Australia economy in 2018/19, and supported one in every 12 jobs throughout the state.

The port of Port Hedland is a crucial link in Western Australia’s resources supply chain, and is used to export a number of commodities, including iron-ore and lithium.

The report by consultancy firm ACIL Allen Consulting found that the port’s economic contribution accounted for around 20% of the state’s gross state product in 2018/19.

Trade flowing through the port boosted Australian gross domestic product by more than A$64-billion in the period, generating more than 133 000 full time jobs across Australia, and delivering nearly A$4-billion in taxes to the federal government.

The economic benefits of the port are expected to grow over the next decade, delivering an additional A$26.2-billion to the regional, state and national economies by 2028/29 with an average extra benefit of A$2.6-billion a year. An additional A$21-billion will be paid to the Western Australian and federal governments in taxes and royalties.

Iron-ore production is expected to increase from the 524.9-million tonnes reported in 2019/20 to peak at 547.5-million tonnes in 2022/23, before easing to an average of 545.2-million tonnes for the remainder of the period to 2028/29.

Lithium and spodumene concentrate production would also increase from the 180 000 t delivered in 2019/20, to 370 000 t in 2020/21, and again to more than 1.5-million tonnes in 2021/22, averaging some 1.6-million tonnes to 2028/29.

The members of the Port Hedland Industries Council (PHIC), which include iron-ore majors BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill and the Pilbara Ports Authority, as well as other port users Rio Tinto, Sandfire Resources, Pilbara Minerals, Atlas Iron, and Mineral Resources, all contributed to the report.

PHIC CEO Kristy Danby said the figures were a powerful reminder of the economic muscle of the Pilbara, and of the port.

“That the port supply chain is responsible for one in every 12 jobs in Western Australia is extraordinary, and a reflection of the importance of the port in the economic futures of the town, the state, and the nation.

“Industry is not only contributing directly through taxes, royalties, wages and salaries, it provides vital indirect benefits to a range of contractors and services providers and contributes to the vitality and development of Port Hedland community through its support of a range of programmes.
Source: Mining Weekly

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