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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Dec 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/03/2010   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
March 2010 9 June 2010
June 2010 8 September 2010
September 2010 8 December 2010
December 2010 9 March 2011



CHANGES TO THIS ISSUE

There are no changes in this issue.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Mark Busby on Sydney (02) 9268 4533.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


TREND ESTIMATES

The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure rose $23.7m (4.7%) to $526.9m in the December quarter 2009. The current estimate is 9.4% lower than the December quarter 2008 estimate.

Mineral Exploration, Seasonally adjusted and trend series
Graph: Mineral Exploration (Time Series Estimate): Expenditure and Metres Drilled, ; Total deposits , Australia


The largest contribution to the rise this quarter was in Western Australia (up $12.3m or 4.4%). The largest fall was in New South Wales (down $3.3m or 9.5%).

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 12.4% this quarter. The current estimate is 3.1% higher than the December quarter estimate for last year.


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose $8.1m (1.6%) to $530.1m in the December quarter 2009. The largest rises this quarter were in Western Australia (up $17.7m or 6.4%) and Queensland (up $14.4m or 14.6%).

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure rose $21.4m (3.8%). Western Australia had the largest rise of $22.8m (7.6%), followed by Queensland which rose $19.7m (19.0%).

In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits rose $27.2m (13.5%), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits fell $5.8m (1.6%).

In original terms, the largest rise by minerals sought came from expenditure on copper exploration (up $17.0m or 45.9%), with the largest rise occurring in Western Australia. The next largest rise came from expenditure on gold exploration (up $12.1m or 9.1%).

MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series
Graph: MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series



MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


METRES DRILLED

In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled rose 15.6% in the December quarter 2009. In original terms total metres drilled rose 7.1%. Drilling in areas of new deposits rose 19.3% and drilling in areas of existing deposits rose 1.1%.

Metres Drilled, Original series
Graph: Metres Drilled, Original series



PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the December quarter 2009 rose $29.3m (3.7%) to $827.0m.

Expenditure on exploration on production leases fell $125.8m (41.0%), while exploration on all other areas rose $155.2m (31.6%) this quarter.

Offshore exploration fell $34.3m (5.3%) in the December quarter 2009, while onshore exploration expenditure rose $63.6m (42.8%).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure



REGIONAL DATA

In the December quarter 2009, Queensland had the largest rise in petroleum exploration expenditure of $48.9m (51.1%). Western Australia had the largest fall of $62.2m (10.3%).


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