A 38% increase to a record 32.7 million tonnes of LNG shipments helped the Western Australian resources industry reached several milestones in 2017, according to statistics released by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Strong growth in LNG volumes with new projects coming on line, higher iron ore prices and the gold sector’s continued strength contributed to reported sales of $108.8 billion, a 16% increase from 2016.

Along with the record LNG production, WA’s iron ore sales were up 14% to nearly $63 billion; gold sales exceeded $11 billion for the first time, more than twice what it was 10 years ago.

The average number of people directly employed in WA’s minerals sector also increased by six per cent to more than 111,000.

“2017 was a positive year for Western Australia’s resources industry and it was encouraging to see record production across key sectors,” WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said.

“The statistics reflect the industry’s strong economic performance in 2017, despite facing global demand challenges and geopolitical instability.

“It’s pleasing to see that employment in the mining sector continues to increase,” Minister Johnston said.