End of Mining Boom in Western Australia
Australia’s economy has been experiencing steady growth over the past decade, largely due to a mining boom in the western part of the country. Most of the nation’s mineral resources are exported to Asian countries, especially China, which buys most of its raw materials from Australia. However, there are signs that the Australian mining boom is coming to an end.
Australia’s most valuable resources are iron ore and coal. Iron ore alone accounts for more than 50% of Australia’s exports. Almost a quarter of the world’s iron ore production comes from Western Australia. Half of every dollar earned in Australia comes from the western part of the country.
The mining boom in Western Australia has also led to an increase in population. It has risen by over 25% compared to a decade ago and has become the fastest growing region of the continent. The boom has also led to social problems because there are far more men coming to the region than women,
Many of the new settlers work in the mines. Foreign companies send employees in and out of the region on a regular basis. As a result, more houses have been built and real estate prices have gone up. Land owners have profited by allowing mines on the land. People who work in Western Australia earn more than in the rest of the country, but the cost of living has also increased, making western Australia one of the most expensive regions to live in.
However, not all is well for the mining region. The boom is dependent on global economy and as China’s growth rate is sinking Australia is expected to suffer too. The price of iron ore is going down as global demand is falling.
Australia knows that the mining boom will not last forever and is preparing for the future. It has vast oil and natural gas reserves in the north that are waiting to be exploited. Liquefied natural gas may become Australia’s next big export product.
Economic critics complain that the government has been investing too much money in the mining business, while tourism and other industries lag behind. They suggest that Australia should not make its economy dependent on one sector and on a few developing countries.
In any case, the fact is that Australia has come through the global recession of the past few years almost completely undamaged.
Iron Ore Train in Western Australia
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- account for = to form a part of
- come through = endure , emerge, come out of
- compared to = if you put two things side by side
- complain = protest, criticize
- critic = a person who has a different opinion about something
- decade = a period of ten years
- demand = the need for
- dependent on = need something in order to exist
- developing country = a poor country in Asia, Africa or South America
- due to = because of
- economy = the system by which a country’s money and goods are produced
- employee = a person who works for a company
- especially = above all
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- exploit = develop, make use of
- far more = much more
- foreign = from another country
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- iron ore = rock, from which you can get iron
- lag = here: to move or develop more slowly
- largely = mostly
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- liquefied = watery
- mineral resources = valuable and expensive minerals that a country can sell
- mining = the work of getting coal, ore and other minerals out of the earth
- natural gas = gas used for heating and lighting , taken from under the earth or the sea
- owner = a person whom something belongs to
- population = the people who live in a region or country
- profit = to make money
- raw materials = natural products ,like wood, coal, oil, that a country needs to exist
- real estate = land and houses
- recession = decline; difficult time in which people buy less and companies produce less
- reserves = the amount of minerals or other resources that lie under the earth
- sector = part of the whole economy
- settler = a person who moves to a new region to live there
- sign = signal
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- suffer = to get into a bad situation
- suggest = advise
- undamaged = unhurt , intact
- valuable = expensive
- vast = very large