Economic Activity

The Kimberley region has an increasingly diverse regional economy. Mining, construction, tourism, retail, agriculture, and pearling are major contributors to the region’s economic output.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, agriculture production for the Kimberley Region was valued at $230 million in 2011-12. There are over 100 agricultural establishments in the region, covering 12.7 million hectares. The Department of Agriculture and Food consider that these estimates are considerably lower that actual production.

The pastoral industry made up 85% of the total value of agriculture at $195 million in 2011-12. Crop production for the same year was valued at $45 million, 15% of the region agriculture.

Mineral and mining production was valued at $1.1 billion in 2012-2013.  The Kimberley accounts for all of Western Australia’s diamond production and produces 90% of the world’s pink diamonds.
High grade iron ore is mined at Cockatoo and Koolan Islands near King Sound.

The 2011-12 estimated value of fishing production was $7 million. The estimated value of the regions aquaculture in 2011-12 is $77 million. The Kimberley pearl industry peaked at $91.5 million in 2005-06 and 2006-07, but in 2008-09 pearls were valued at $67.5 million.

Tourism is expected to remain one of the region’s major growth industries. Averaged across 2010,2011 and 2012 there were 292,600 domestic and international visitors to the Kimberley annually. The total value of tourism expenditure was $327 million.