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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2012  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2012   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2012 3 September 2012
September 2012 3 December 2012
December 2012 4 March 2013
March 2013 3 June 2013



CHANGES TO NEXT ISSUE
  • Commencing with the June quarter 2012 issue, the release of this publication will be brought forward by seven working days, to be released before Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The Forthcoming Issues section (see above) has been updated to reflect this change.
  • Commencing with the June quarter 2012 issue, this publication will include seasonally adjusted and trend estimates for the petroleum exploration series. Table 6 and table 7 of this publication and tables 6a, 6b and 7 of the time series spreadsheets will be extended to incorporate the seasonally adjusted and trend estimates.


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 7.1% (or $70.4m) to $1057.7m in the March quarter 2012. The current quarter estimate is 35.1% higher than the March quarter 2011 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 in the trend estimate this quarter was in Western Australia (up 12.3% or $62.7m) followed by Queensland (up 3.2% or $7.9m).

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 1.8% this quarter. The current quarter estimate is 15.1% higher than the March quarter 2011 estimate.


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose 12.3% (or $118.8m) to $1086.0m in the March quarter 2012. The largest rise this quarter was in Western Australia (up 19.0% or $95.5m) followed by Queensland (up 13.4% or $31.7m).

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure fell 15.1% (or -$156.3m) to $876.1m in the March quarter 2012. Queensland had the largest fall (down 22.4% or -$57.5m), followed by Western Australia (down 7.9% or -$41.8m).

In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits fell 23.2% (or -$75.0m), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits fell 11.5% (or -$81.3m).

In original terms, the largest fall by minerals sought came from expenditure on iron ore exploration (down 14.1% or -$43.9m), with the largest fall occurring in Western Australia. The next largest fall came from expenditure on coal exploration (down 18.5% or -$40.2m).

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 4.0% in the March quarter 2012. In original terms total metres drilled fell 23.1%. Drilling in areas of new deposits fell 42.2% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell 13.3%.

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



PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the March quarter 2012 fell 33.6% (or -$301.0m) to $596.0m.

Expenditure on exploration on production leases fell 46.4% (or -$63.4m) to $73.3m, while exploration on all other areas fell 31.3% (or -$237.7m) to $522.7m this quarter.

Offshore exploration fell 30.0% (or -$185.8m) to $432.9m, while onshore exploration expenditure fell 41.4% (or -$115.2m) to $163.1m.


REGIONAL DATA

In the March quarter 2012, the largest fall in petroleum exploration expenditure was in Western Australia (down 35.7% or -$218.7m).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure



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