The Pilbara region covers an area of 507,896 km2 (including off shore islands). It has an estimated population of 47,000 people as at 30 June 2009*, most of whom live in the western third of the region, in towns such as Port Hedland, Karratha, Wickham, Newman and Marble bar.
THE PILBARA Region
The majority of Australia’s iron ore is mined in the Pilbara with mining operators including BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals. The region is also the gateway to the offshore Carnarvon Basin which includes the North West Shelf venture, Woodside’s Pluto project and the Gordon gas project.
The beginning of what would become known as Australia’s mining boom commenced in 2003. In Western Australia, this activity has seen mining employment grow on average by 8.5% per annum resulting in 75,615 persons employed as at December 2009**. 70% of the state’s mineral and petroleum production occurs in the Pilbara and this high concentration of mining activity has resulted in abnormally high housing demands for the region**.
Australian Bureau of Statistic, National Regional Profile: Pilbara (Statistical Division), November 2010
** Government of Western Australia’s resource industry. February 2011
** Western Australia Prospect magazine, Pilbara Focus, March-May 2010