Invest in the Pilbara

In the last decade, the Pilbara has been the powerhouse of economic growth for Western Australia and the nation. Its proximity to Asia and extensive resource endowments have resulted in the Pilbara being recognised as a region of global significance. The Pilbara’s economy showed remarkable resilience during the global pandemic and has continued to grow over the last 12 months.

The Pilbara contributes 15 per cent of WA’s total economic output and almost a quarter of state revenue through royalties. The total value of resources sales rose last financial year, most notably iron ore increasing more than 50%, but gold also increased by 21% compared to the previous financial year. Growth is set to continue with $125 billion worth of projects under consideration, committed or under construction in the region. 

This investment pipeline is forecast to create more than 40,000 new jobs during construction and 12,000 ongoing operational roles. 

Iron ore dominates the Pilbara’s landscape; however, the region has valuable deposits of critical minerals needed for the green energy industry. For example, we have three of the eight minerals required for battery storage – lithium, manganese, and vanadium. Currently, 40% of the world’s lithium production comes from the Pilbara. Rare earth minerals processing is also set to become part of the Pilbara’s economic makeup. Hastings Minerals are preparing for the construction of a processing plant in Onslow to support their rare earth project in the Gascoyne. Another example is ammonia, which is the critical enabler for exporting renewables. The Pilbara is home to one of the largest ammonia production sites in the world (Yara), exporting around 5 per cent of the global market.

The Pilbara is quickly building an international reputation as a global centre for hydrogen production. The $140 million Pilbara Hydrogen Hub is a project supported by the State and Commonwealth governments. The Hub involves the development of a pipeline connecting the Maitland and Burrup strategic industrial areas, creating a Clean Energy Training and Research Institute, and port upgrades to facilitate export opportunities. A dedicated clean energy production training institute will be the first in Australia. 

 With four key hydrogen projects currently underway in the region, including the mega-scale Asian Renewable Energy Hub, our challenge is to connect the region and maximise opportunities for communities in all corners of the Pilbara. Partnerships with all levels of government, industry, Traditional Owners, businesses and the community will be critical to the success of the hydrogen industry development in the Pilbara.

 While diversification of the resources sector continues with new minerals and energy, the Pilbara is also becoming an increasingly connected place – within the region, the country, and the world. This connectivity unlocks stranded assets and creates new opportunities for business investment and innovation. 

The Pilbara is also becoming more connected to the world beyond traditional resource exports. The new direct shipping routes from Dampier and Port Hedland to the world via Singapore have unlocked a range of opportunities for Pilbara businesses by saving time and cost and providing direct access to global markets.   

The importance of economic diversification – creating greater depth and complexity in the economic makeup of the Pilbara – remains a priority. As an increasingly connected region, we are positioned to capitalise on new markets and forge a bright future together. To discuss investment opportunities, please contact