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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Jun 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2004   
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CHANGES TO THIS ISSUE

There are no changes in this issue.



CHANGES TO NEXT ISSUE

For the past four quarters, the ABS has been collecting mineral exploration expenditure on "greenfields" and "brownfields" sites in response to user feedback. From next quarter's issue, this release will include this new disaggregation of expenditure in place of the current split by production leases and other areas. Collection of data on exploration on production leases and other areas will also cease. Next quarter's issue will contain information on differences between the former and new disaggregation.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Fiona Cotsell on Sydney (02) 9268 4357.



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


TREND ESTIMATES

The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure increased by 6.6% to $214.6m in the June quarter 2004. The estimate has risen in the last three quarters and is now 17.4% higher than the June quarter 2003.

Graph: Mineral Exploration (other than petroleum)


All states recorded slight increases this quarter except for Victoria which had a small decrease. Western Australia had the largest increase of $8.2m (6.9%).


The trend estimate for metres drilled has been increasing steadily for the past three quarters. The current estimate is now 17.0% higher than the June quarter estimate for last year.



MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure increased by $18.2m or 9.1% this quarter (up 43.6% in original terms). This increase was dominated by exploration in areas other than production leases, which increased by $70.4m (57.8%) in original terms. Expenditure on production leases increased $2.6m (5.7%) in original terms.


Seasonally adjusted expenditure in most states and territories increased this quarter, with Western Australia having the largest increase of $17m or 14.9%. Victoria (down 32.7%) and the Northern Territory (down 7.8%) had the only decreases.


In original terms, exploration for all minerals increased this quarter, except for the category of other minerals. The largest increases came from expenditure on gold (up $24.9m, 27.3%, with most of the increase coming from Western Australia) and nickel and cobalt (up $16.0m, 103.2%).

Mineral exploration expenditure, Original series
Graph: Mineral exploration expenditure Original series




MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


METRES DRILLED

In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled increased by 20.8% in the June quarter 2004 (up 70.0% in original terms). The increase was dominated by drilling in areas other than production leases.

Metres Drilled, Original series
Graph: Metres Drilled Original series




PETROLEUM EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE


OVERVIEW

As expected, petroleum exploration expenditure returned to near-normal levels in June quarter 2004, after low levels in the March quarter. The March quarter downturn has, however, resulted in expenditure for the six months to June 2004 being relatively low. Expectations for the six months to December 2004 are higher than expectations for the comparable period in 2003.


Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the June quarter 2004 increased by $87.6m (51.9%) to $256.4m.


Expenditure on exploration on both production leases (up $18.7m or 87.4%) and all other areas (up $68.9m or 46.7%) increased this quarter.


Offshore exploration had a strong increase of $83.3m (72.0%), while onshore exploration expenditure increased by $4.2m (7.9%).

Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure



REGIONAL DATA

In the June quarter 2004 most states recorded slight decreases in expenditure, but these were offset by Western Australia which recorded a large increase of $90.6m (84.8%). The only other state to show an increase was Tasmania, which rose by $3.4m (425.0%).

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