Victoria has recorded its highest level of extractive production in more than 10 years, according to the Victorian Earth Resources sector indicators for 2019-20.
The annual Earth Resources Sector Indicators Report found Victoria’s quarry production had increased by 25 per cent in the past six years, hitting 63 million tonnes of sand, rock and gravel for the 2020 financial year.
Minster for Resources Jaclyn Symes said record production through a global pandemic was thanks to a government that facilitates growth.
“This government’s policies and programs are delivering results, with record high infrastructure investment stimulating demand for raw materials from our quarrying sector,” Symes said.
“An expanding resources sector is a crucial part of the government’s approach to delivering investment opportunities and well paid local jobs in regional Victoria.”
These policies and programs included updates to the Mineral Resources Regulations in 2020; $19.6 billion invested in extractives between 2021-22 and 2023-24; and $70 billion of work underway for road and rail projects.
The 63 million tonnes of materials extracted in 2019-20 had a production value of $1.06 billion, which allows for future investment into the sector.
Of the 63 million tonnes, 40.37 million was hard rock, with basalt making up a majority (25.9 million tonnes).
The biggest jump in production of any material (over one million tonnes) was granite, which increased by 32 per cent on 2018-19 to hit 7.06 million tonnes.
These integral materials allowed $40.4 billion worth of building work to be done in the 2020 financial year – a 1.3 per cent increase on the previous year, despite COVID-19 restrictions in the final quarter.
It is likely, however, that the effects of COVID-19 on construction will be seen more prominently in reports over the coming years, as the sector’s results have a tendency to lag compared to others.
Video courtesy of the Victoria Earth Resources Regulator.