Most base-metal prices have improved over the past year including zinc (35%), lead (20%) and copper (10%), driving global interest in new projects including many in Australia. Although Coal is the single-most important mineral in New South Wales the metal mining industry is still significant with many new projects. NSW has a long history of metal mining, mainly in the central and western part of the state. Gold was first produced in the state in the early 1850s. For several decades from the 1880s, Broken Hill – which produced silver, lead and zinc – dominated mining in Australia and was a globally important supplier of these three metals.
New developments include: