1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Dec 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/01/2008   
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Mining MINING

MINERAL AND PETROLEUM EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

Mineral exploration expenditure (trend) in Western Australia rose 10.6% (up $26 million) to $271 million in the September quarter 2007 - the seventh consecutive quarterly rise. Since the December quarter 2005 ($144 million), the state's mineral exploration expenditure has risen at an average rate of 8.2% per quarter, much higher than the long-run average of 1.2% per quarter since the series began in the September quarter 1988.

MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, Total minerals
Graph: Mineral exploration expenditure, total minerals



In original terms, Western Australia's mineral exploration expenditure rose 54.2% ($103 million) through the year to September quarter 2007, mainly due to increased exploration of iron ore (up $38 million or 57.4%) and nickel, cobalt (up $30 million or 95.5%). Other notable increases were in gold (up $12 million or 18.2%), silver, lead, zinc (up $8 million or 88.5%) and copper (up $6 million or 135.6%). Petroleum exploration expenditure (original) in Western Australia rose 88.5% ($257 million) to $547 million through the year to September quarter 2007.



MINERAL AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTION

The production of most mineral types fell in Western Australia through the year to September quarter 2007, including diamonds (down 40.6%), ilmenite (down 13.0%), gold (down 7.3%), bauxite (down 4.9%) and nickel (down 2.1%). There was however increased production in zinc (up 163.6%) and iron ore (up 1.6%). In terms of energy, crude oil production was down 14.8% through the year, while production rose for natural gas (up 6.3%) and electricity (up 4.2%).