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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Mar 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2009   
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SECTION 10 MINING AND ENERGY


Mineral exploration

  • In trend terms, expenditure on mineral exploration in Western Australia experienced 11 quarters of strong growth from March quarter 2006 ($146 million) to September quarter 2008 ($357 million) followed by a small decrease in the December quarter 2008 ($354 million).

MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, Total minerals
Graph: MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, Total minerals

  • Original data show that the only significant growth in mineral exploration in the December quarter was in relation to iron ore where expenditure rose by 11%. Expenditure on silver, lead and zinc exploration decreased by more than 50% while the figures for copper; nickel and cobalt; and gold were also substantially down.
  • Petroleum exploration expenditure increased by about 48% to $799 million in the December quarter 2008.

30 Mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure(a), By selected mineral: Original

Copper
Silver, lead, zinc
Nickel, cobalt
Gold
Iron ore
Total minerals(b)
Total petroleum
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

2006-2007
22.8
41.8
158.2
276.5
272.1
839.1
1 481.0
2007-2008
39.0
56.2
280.0
347.9
420.7
1 259.8
2 174.9
2007
September
10.6
16.4
61.2
76.5
104.5
293.3
546.5
December
9.0
19.7
79.5
85.8
94.0
313.8
512.7
2008
March
9.0
9.7
58.2
85.2
82.9
271.4
498.7
June
10.3
10.5
81.0
100.3
139.3
381.2
616.9
September
11.0
13.1
90.3
75.9
153.2
383.8
539.5
December
9.4
6.5
73.7
67.7
170.6
364.0
798.9

(a) Includes expenditure on Western Australia leases in the Zone of Cooperation Area B.
(b) Includes minerals not listed in the table.
Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, cat. no. 8412.0.



Mineral production
  • In terms of original data, the production of diamonds had its third successive quarterly increase (12%) in December 2008 after a substantial drop in production in the first quarter of the year. However, the December 2008 figure was down by almost 12% on the amount for the same quarter a year before.
  • Production of iron ore decreased by 15% in the December quarter to less than 77 billion tonnes. This followed relatively large increases in the two previous quarters. Bauxite production in 2008 followed a similar pattern although the quarterly changes were less significant. The December 2008 figures for both bauxite and iron ore were each around 2% lower, in original terms, than the comparable data for December 2007.

31 MINERAL PRODUCTION(a): Original

Selected minerals
Diamonds
Iron ore(b)
Bauxite
Reference period
'000 carats
'000 tonnes
'000 tonnes

2006-2007
24 622
281 157
41 363
2007-2008
16 528
313 505
41 398
2007
September
4 980
71 942
10 211
December
6 145
78 352
10 415
2008
March
2 277
77 262
10 363
June
3 126
85 949
10 409
September
4 839
89 999
10 584
December
5 428
76 642
10 251

(a) Latest figures are preliminary and subject to revision.
(b) For use in iron and steel making.
Source: ABARE, Australian Mineral Statistics; ABS data available on request, Manufacturing Production, Australia, cat. no. 8301.0.55.001.



Energy production
  • In the December 2008 quarter, production (in original terms) increased for all major energy sources in Western Australia. Natural gas production exhibited the largest increase (18%), followed by electricity (9%) and crude oil (0.6%).
  • In annual terms, electricity (20%) and natural gas (5%) showed positive growth, while crude oil production fell 25% through the year to December 2008. Factors could include a reduction in the amount of oil available from existing wells, a temporary lessening of demand due to the current global financial crisis or even the beginning of a more long-term decline in demand for non-renewable energy sources in response to climate change.

32 ENERGY PRODUCTION(a): Original

Energy
Electricity generated
Crude oil(b)
Natural gas(c)
Reference period
million kWh
megalitres
million m3

2006-2007
22 460
19 940
27 199
2007-2008
22 794
12 293
27 499
2007
September
5 644
4 592
6 970
December
5 615
4 625
7 267
2008
March
6 209
4 190
6 617
June
5 326
4 604
6 646
September
6 197
3 448
6 431
December
6 760
3 469
7 603

(a) Latest figures are preliminary and subject to revision.
(b) Includes condensate.
(c) Commercial sales plus field and plant usage.
Source: ABARE, Australian Mineral Statistics; ABS data available on request, Manufacturing Production, Australia, cat. no. 8301.0.55.001.



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