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Contribution of mining to Hunter remains strong

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The contribution of mining to the Hunter Valley remained strong in 2020/21, according to the NSW Minerals Council.

The organisation’s latest annual Member Expenditure Survey (MES) found 28 participating NSW companies supported thousands of occupations and maintained high levels of direct spending in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the area’s economy at a time when it was most needed.

In fact, the direct spending of the active ventures was equivalent to 29% of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) of the Hunter in the past financial year.

The review also discovered the participating mining companies supported more than 13,250 jobs in the region.

That was a slight increase on the previous 12 months and the third highest result reported in the 10-year history of the MES.

The survey revealed the businesses directly injected $6.1 billion into the Hunter economy, too, in 2020/21.

While that figure was a slight drop on the previous year, it was the equal second highest result reported in a decade.

The $6.1 billion of direct mining spending in the Hunter in 2020/21 included more than $1.53 billion on wages and salaries, as well as almost $4.5 billion for goods and services purchased from in excess of 3,160 mining supplier businesses across the region.

“These very strong jobs and expenditure numbers highlight the importance of the sector for the Hunter’s economy and, especially, for mining communities,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.

“These results also demonstrate how mining was able to provide economic strength and stability to the Hunter at the height of the global pandemic.”

The 3,160 Hunter businesses reported as part of the region’s mining supply chain was down slightly from the 3,400 registered in the previous year, reflecting the difficulties faced by many across NSW due to COVID-19.

“The ongoing economic contribution to the Hunter provided by our member companies highlights the resilience of our industry during these tough times, keeping our mines operating while maintaining the safety of our miners, their families and our mining communities across NSW,” Mr Galilee said.

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