The resources sector has made a significant contribution to Australia’s prosperity over a large part of its postcolonial history. A combination of substantial mineral and energy resources, perceived low sovereign risk, a skilled workforce, technological leadership, openness to direct foreign investment and relative freedom from interventionist government policies has shaped the Australian resources sector into a highly competitive supplier of minerals and energy products to global markets. Despite this strong global market position, the past performance of the resources sector is no guarantee for its future. The sector operates within a highly competitive globalised environment. Its future depends on its ability to remain internationally competitive, while pursuing sustainable development through a combination of resources discovery and exploitation, socially responsible development and effective environmental stewardship.