CANBERRA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Australia is the world's largest reserve holder or producer of key commodities including gold, iron ore and aluminium, a report has found.
Australia's Minister for Resources Matt Canavan said that Geoscience Australia's "Australia's Identified Mineral Resources" (AIMR) report, published on Monday, reaffirmed the country's position as a hotspot for mineral investment.
"By almost any measure, Australia is a world leader in mineral resources. We hold the largest identified resources of nine commodities, including gold. We are also the world's largest producer of five commodities. This includes lithium, a mineral resource with potential that is just beginning to be unlocked through new and emerging technologies," Canavan said in a media release on Monday.
"We are also leading the way internationally in mining innovation and are exporting more mining services around the globe than ever before."
In addition to gold, iron ore and aluminium, Australia was also a top five producer of rare earths, mineral sands, zinc, lithium, lead and coal.
The report said there were more than 300 mines operating in Australia in 2017, almost 100 of which were in Northern Australia.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia's mining industry generated revenues of 60.8 billion Australian dollars (47.1 billion U.S. dollars) before tax in the financial year ending in June 2016.
The AIMR report found that mining accounted for 7.4 percent of Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016-17.
Despite the size and importance of the mining sector, only approximately 160,000 Australians are employed by the industry.