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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Mining >> Expenditure on mineral and petroleum exploration

EXPENDITURE ON MINERAL AND PETROLEUM EXPLORATION

Exploration involves the search for new ore occurrences or undiscovered oil or gas, and/or appraisal intended to delineate or greatly extend the limits of known deposits of minerals, oil or gas reservoirs by geological, geophysical, geochemical, drilling or other methods. This includes construction of shafts and adits (horizontal entrance passages leading into a mine), primarily for exploration purposes, but excludes activity of a developmental or production nature.

Expenditure during the last five years on mineral exploration other than for petroleum and water is summarised in table 18.4.

Mineral exploration expenditure in 2008-09 was $2,223 million (m). This was $1,195m (116%) higher than in 2004-05 but $238m (10%) lower than in 2007-08. Exploration expenditure in South Australia increased by $154m (231%) in the period 2004-05 to 2008-09, the highest rate of increase for this period. Western Australia continued to account for the majority (59% in 2004-05 and 56% in 2008-09) of the exploration expenditure over this period, followed by Queensland (16% in both periods).
18.4 MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By state and territory

2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
Change from
2004-05 to
2008-09
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

New South Wales
73.6
114.1
144.1
189.9
175.3
138.2
Victoria
51.5
74.2
82.5
93.7
62.2
20.8
Queensland
166.4
218.8
272.3
397.9
351.6
111.3
South Australia
66.8
146.5
260.8
355.2
220.8
230.5
Western Australia
606.0
590.2
839.2
1 259.7
1 246.8
105.7
Tasmania
8.3
22.6
23.9
32.5
20.3
144.6
Northern Territory
55.6
74.8
92.2
132.7
146.2
162.9
Australia
1 028.3
1 240.7
1 714.6
2 461.4
2 223.2
116.2

Source: ABS Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0)


Most of the expenditure in 2008-09 was related to exploration for iron ore (table 18.5), with iron ore exploration expenditure accounting for 26% of total mineral exploration expenditure. In percentage terms the greatest increases recorded for the period 2004-05 to 2008-09 were for uranium and iron ore exploration, increasing by 795% ($165m) and 327% ($451m) respectively. Significant increases were also recorded for silver, lead and zinc (157%), copper (150%) and coal (135%). Exploration expenditure for diamonds fell by 58% ($14m) over this period.

18.5 MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By mineral sought

2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
Change from
2004-05 to
2008-09
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Selected base metals
261.1
356.6
555.0
783.4
519.0
98.8
Copper
71.4
139.5
234.5
293.5
178.7
150.3
Silver, lead, zinc
31.3
71.2
139.4
186.5
80.5
157.2
Nickel, cobalt
158.6
146.0
181.1
303.2
259.9
63.9
Gold
391.7
399.6
455.9
592.6
438.0
11.8
Iron ore
137.9
161.3
285.4
449.8
588.7
326.9
Mineral sands
27.6
29.2
37.3
37.0
30.6
10.9
Uranium
20.7
56.1
114.1
231.5
185.2
794.7
Coal
126.8
166.4
193.2
234.8
297.3
134.5
Diamonds
23.7
22.6
26.9
21.7
10.0
-57.8
Other(a)
38.6
49.1
46.9
110.3
154.1
299.2
Total
1 028.4
1 240.7
1 714.6
2 461.4
2 223.2
116.2

(a) Includes tin, tungsten, scheelite, wolfram and construction materials.
Source: ABS Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).


In 2008-09, total mineral exploration expenditure was $238m or 10% lower than in 2007-08, primarily due to falls in silver, lead and zinc (57%), diamonds (54%), copper (39%) and gold (26%) exploration expenditure.

In the period 2004-05 to 2008-09, expenditure on oil and gas exploration rose by 265% ($2,766m) (table 18.6) due to increases in both offshore and onshore exploration expenditure of 328% ($2,544m) and 82% ($222m).

In 2008-09, offshore oil and gas exploration expenditure was higher by 31% ($777m) compared with the previous year while onshore exploration fell marginally, by less than 1% ($2m).

18.6 OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
Change from
2004-05 to
2008-09
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Onshore
270.1
355.8
498.2
493.8
492.3
82.3
Offshore
774.6
906.1
1 727.3
2 541.1
3 318.4
328.4
Total
1 044.7
1 261.9
2 225.5
3 034.9
3 810.7
264.8

Source: ABS Mineral and petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).





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