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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2006   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2006 13 September 2006
September 2006 13 December 2006
December 2006 14 March 2007



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 Janine Phasavath 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 3.5% to $316.5m in the March quarter 2006. The estimate has risen in the past ten quarters and is now 20.7% higher than the March quarter 2005 estimate.

Mineral Exploration, Seasonally adjusted and trend series
Graph: Mineral Exploration, Seasonally Adjusted and Trend



The largest contributions to the increase this quarter were in Queensland (up $5.0m or 9.3%) and South Australia (up $4.9m or 15.1%). Most states showed increasing expenditure levels this quarter, with only Western Australia showing a decrease ($3.9m or 2.6%).


The trend estimate for metres drilled increased by 2.9% this quarter. The current estimate is now 3.4% higher than the March quarter 2005 estimate.



MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure increased by $1.3m (0.4%) to $315.7m in the March quarter 2006. Queensland had the largest increase ($6.7m or 12.4%), while Victoria had the largest decrease ($10.7m or 40.4%).


In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure decreased by $63.9m (19.5%). Exploration on areas of new deposits decreased by $13.3m (11.3%), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits decreased by $50.5m (24.1%).


In original terms, the largest decrease in expenditure by minerals sought came from copper exploration (down $12.1m or 33.0%), with the largest decrease occurring in South Australia. The next largest decrease came from expenditure on nickel and cobalt exploration (down $11.4m or 28.0%).

Mineral Exploration, Original series
Graph: Mineral Exploration: Original Series




MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


METRES DRILLED

In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled increased by 4.1% in the March quarter 2006. In original terms total metres drilled decreased by 9.4%. Drilling in areas of existing deposits fell by 9.0% and drilling in areas of new deposits fell by 10.1%.

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




PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the March quarter 2006 decreased by $52.9m (16.2%) to $273.6m.


Expenditure on exploration on production leases decreased (by $89.8m or 51.5%), while exploration on all other areas increased (by $37.0m or 24.3%) this quarter.


There was a decrease of $36.3m (15.9%) in offshore exploration, while onshore exploration expenditure decreased by $16.6m (16.8%).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure




REGIONAL DATA

Most states experienced decreases in petroleum exploration expenditure in the March quarter 2006. Victoria had the largest decrease ($20.2m or 69.4%), followed by Western Australia with a decrease of $15.8m (10.3%). Queensland had the largest increase ($8.2m or 27.2%).

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