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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Mar 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/04/2008   
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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%).

Graph: Mineral Exploration Expenditure, Total minerals

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.


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.

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