During the eighties of the twentieth century, thanks to the discovery and exploitation of enormous deposits, Australia has become one of the major world producers of bauxite and aluminum; the most important mines are located south of Perth in Western Australia, on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and on the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory.
Large uranium mines are located in the Northern Territory and in Olympic Dam, in South Australia; production is entirely exported, consistent with the country’s anti-nuclear policy.
The bitumen industry is concentrated mostly in New South Wales and Queensland. The lignite deposits in the state of Victoria feed the industrial production of electricity. Nickel deposits are present in Kambalda, southeast of Kalgoorlie, in Greensvale, in Queensland, in the region on the border between Western and Southern Australia, and in the Northern Territory. Manganese comes mainly from Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. Two-thirds of Australian copper is extracted from Mount Isa in Queensland; other mines are located on Mount Lyall in Tasmania and Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.
Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales are the main producers of tin. Brook Hill, in New South Wales, has been an important area of zinc and lead production for over a century. Titanium and zircon are extracted from the mineral sands of the beaches of southern Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, with several other metals including ilmenite. Tungsten concentrates are extracted from the King Island in the Bass Strait. The main Australian oil and gas fields are located in Gippsland, in the state of Victoria, and in Carnarvon, in Western Australia; the annual production of crude oil in 2004 amounted to 187 million barrels. The supply of electricity is left to the governments of the federal states; in 2003, 91.4% was obtained from thermoelectric power plants, mostly fed with bitumen or lignite. The country also has several hydroelectric plants, including the important plant in the Snowy Mountains (which supplies mainly Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney) and many smaller plants in Tasmania. Australia is almost entirely self-sufficient for its oil and fuel needs; in 2002, imports accounted for 9.1% of total imports. “Australia,” Origin: Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta. in 2002, imports accounted for 9.1% of total imports. “Australia,” Origin: Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta. in 2002, imports accounted for 9.1% of total imports. “Australia,” Origin: Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta.