Metals and Coal: Modern Living and Economic Upside

Cell phones made of nickel and other metals.
Buildings made of steel in downtown Sydney.
An Australian coal power plant, where electric power is produced from coal.
Various items made of gold, including coins.

Australia’s rocks are rich in mineral resources, and minerals, therefore, are mined in Australia on a large scale. The minerals extracted, which are essentially various types of stone, are then shipped away to be processed.

When processed, the different Australian minerals become metals like iron, nickel and gold. Previously rather useless stone has now been made useful, with iron, for example, being a key ingredient of steal, which is used in construction of buildings, vehicles and appliances. Nickel, to expound on another of the aforementioned metals, is used in mobile phones and in batteries, and gold is considered jewelry as well as an asset with eternal value as a medium of payment.

Modern living

Apart from minerals that can be turned into metals like iron, nickel and gold, coal, which is not a mineral but dead plant matter, is also dug up in large quantities in Australia. One of the reasons why coal is excavated is because burning coal provides heat that can be converted to electric power. Electric power, in turn, provides the power necessary for such things as trains, central heating and computers, basically sustaining the modern lifestyle that people in the developed part of the world have become accustomed to. So with coal being relatively inexpensive and practically everybody in the world wanting a modern lifestyle, coal from Australia, quite naturally, is an attractive commodity.

Economic upside

When Australian coal and Australian metals reach the market, they are usually sold to foreign buyers. The coal and metals, in other words, become export goods, whose total value is often so large that mining companies can make hefty profits and the Australian government can collect substantial taxes. The mining industry, furthermore, provides jobs for a large number of workers in the land Down Under, meaning that extracting metals and coal has broad benefits and great economic upside for Australia.