Mining has a dominant share in the provincial economy. During the commodity boom, its contribution climbed from 21.5% in 2004 to 25% in 2010. It then fell back to 22% in 2014 as iron ore prices declined from former levels.
In 2018, mining and quarrying contributed around 22% to provincial GDP compared to the 7.3% contribution at a national level. As a result, the province’s economy is closely linked to commodity price fluctuations.
By 2015, the mining industry had become the largest sector of employment in the province, surpassing agriculture, construction and manufacturing and in 2018 around 15,000 people were employed in the mining sector.