MINERAL AND PETROLEUM EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE
Expenditure on mineral exploration (trend) in Western Australia rose 8.7% ($24 million) to $295 million in the December quarter 2007. This rise was slightly lower than the previous period growth of 10.6% ($26 million) in the September quarter 2007. Despite the state's lower growth in the current quarter, it was the eighth consecutive quarterly rise since December quarter 2005 ($145 million) and was higher than the national growth (7.4%).
MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE,
In original terms, Western Australia's mineral exploration expenditure grew 44.4% ($97 million) through the year to December quarter 2007. All of the major minerals showed growth over this period, with nickel and cobalt (up $42 million or 114.3%) having the largest increase. Iron ore (up $23 million or 32.4%), silver, lead and zinc (up $11 million or 123.9%), gold (up $8 million or 10.3%) and copper (up $4 million or 87.5%) recorded growth through the year to December quarter 2007.
MINERAL AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTION
Between the December quarters 2006 and 2007, production of most mineral types fell in Western Australia, including diamonds (down 24.4%), ilmenite (down 12.5%), nickel (down 11.8%) and gold (down 9.3%). However, there were increased production in iron ore (up 10.7%), zinc (up 6.3%) and bauxite (up 1.2%). In terms of energy production, natural gas recorded a rise of 0.3%, while electricity (down 0.1%) and crude oil (down 9.5%) decreased through the year.