Australia covers an area of 7.7 million. km2, and it is located on the mainland of the same name, Tasmanian and many small islands. For a long period of time, the state developed exclusively in an agrarian direction, until alluvial gold (gold deposits brought by rivers and streams) was discovered there in the middle of the 19th century, which caused several gold rushes and laid the foundation for modern demographic models of Australia.
In the post-war period, geology provided an invaluable service to the country by the continuous launch of mineral deposits, including gold, bauxite, iron and manganese, as well as opals, sapphires and other precious stones, which became an impetus for the development of the state’s industry.
Australia has an estimated 24 billion tonnes of coal reserves, over a quarter of which (7 billion tonnes) is anthracite or black coal, located in the Sydney Basin of New South Wales and Queensland. Lignite suitable for power generation in Victoria. Coal reserves fully meet the needs of the Australian domestic market, and allow the export of surplus mined raw materials.
Natural gas deposits are widespread throughout the country and currently provide most of Australia’s domestic needs. There are commercial gas fields in every state and pipelines connecting these fields to major cities. Within three years, Australian natural gas production nearly quadrupled from 258 million. M3 in 1969, the first year of production, up to 3.3 billion. M3 in 1972. Overall, Australia has trillions of tons of estimated natural gas reserves spread across the continent.
Most of Australia’s oil production is aimed at meeting its own needs. Oil was first discovered in South Queensland near Muni. Australian oil production is currently around 25 million barrels per year and is based on fields in northwestern Australia near Barrow Island, Mereene and subsoil in the Bass Strait. The deposits of Balrow, Mereeni and Bas Strait in parallel are objects of natural gas production.
Australia has rich deposits of uranium ore, which are enriched for use as fuel for nuclear power. West Queensland, near Mount Isa and Cloncurry, contains three billion tons of uranium ore reserves. There are also deposits in Arnhem Land, in far northern Australia, as well as in Queensland and Victoria.
Most significant iron ore reserves in Australia are located in the western part of the Hammersley region and its environs. The state has billions of tons of iron ore reserves, exporting magnetite-iron from mines to Tasmania and Japan, while extracting ore from older sources on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia and the Kulanyabing region in southern Western Australia.
The Western Australian shield is rich in nickel deposits, which were first discovered at Kambalda near Kalgoorlie in southwestern Australia in 1964. Other nickel deposits have been found in older gold mining areas in Western Australia. Small deposits of platinum and palladium were discovered nearby.
The state is also extremely rich in zinc, the main sources of which are the mountains of Isa, Math and Morgan in Queensland. Large reserves of bauxite (aluminum ore), lead and zinc are concentrated in the northern part.
Australia’s gold production, which had been significant at the beginning of the century, has declined from a peak production of four million ounces in 1904 to several hundred thousand. Most of the gold comes from the Kalgoorlie Norseman region of Western Australia.
The continent is also known for its gemstones, especially white and black opals from South Australia and western New South Wales. Sapphire and topaz deposits have been developed in Queensland and the New England region of northeastern New South Wales.