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MINING COMMODITIES, AUSTRALIA, 2001-02 TO 2011-12
The scope of the collection includes all commodities for which mining producers are required to report quantities and values to the mine department of the state or territory in which they operate. Some commodities which could, in some circumstances, be considered manufactured commodities, are also included for completeness, e.g. liquified natural gas (LNG) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Other commodities, such as alumina and helium, are excluded because they are the product of manufacturing processes rather than mining ones.
The scope of the collection also excludes:
Coverage of the collection excludes Victorian data for 2011-12 (other than most fuel minerals which were sourced from APPEA).
PROCESSING AND ESTIMATION
ABS assigns data received from state and territory mines departments to codes within the ABS Harmonised Mining Framework. In some instances (e.g. several types of gravel) this requires aggregation of the supplied data so that a single figure (for gravel) can be assigned. Where there is insufficient detail in the supplied data to assign it to a lower level code (e.g. a specific type of dimension stone), the data are assigned to a higher level code (e.g. total dimension stone). In other instances the supplied data may already be aggregated across a number of commodities. In these instances the data are assigned to one of the commodities and a comment added to the relevant commodity to indicate it also includes data for the other specified commodities.
Movements in the data between reference periods are examined for coherence and any significant anomalies investigated. Reported data are also compared with data from other sources such as BREE and publicly available production reports published by Australian Stock Exchange listed businesses. Where there are unresolved anomalies, ABS may query the data with the relevant mine department and obtain a more accurate figure. In a small number of instances ABS may substitute data from alternative sources in order to achieve coherence.
Imputation and basis of reporting
Occasionally data for a given commodity may be missing from the supplied dataset. In these cases, ABS seeks the missing data from the relevant mine department, however if it cannot be supplied in the required timeframe, ABS may impute the data by calculating an average across previous reference years or across states, as appropriate.
The basis of reporting varies across jurisdictions, with some state and territory mines departments reporting production quantities and values, some reporting sales quantities and values, and some a mixture of both for different commodities. Differences between the two bases of reporting can arise when production exceeds sales (leading to building of stockpiles) or when sales exceed production (leading to depletion of stockpiles).
Jurisdictions such as the Northern Territory and Tasmania supply ABS with production quantities, sales quantities and sales values. In these cases, ABS estimates production value by deriving average unit sales value (i.e. sales value divided by sales quantity) and applying it to production quantity.
For Western Australia the following commodities are reported on a sales basis, with others (not listed) reported on a production basis:
Since January 2012, responsibility for administering off-shore production in Commonwealth waters shifted from state and territory mines departments to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator. Consequently 2011-12 quantity data for petroleum-based production have been sourced from publicly available data released by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. Additionally, for Queensland (where all fuel minerals production occurs on-shore), ABS has elected to use the state mines department's regulatory-based production data rather than its voluntary-based sales data. Both the APPEA data and Queensland's regulatory-based production data are limited to quantity so the ABS has carefully imputed value of production to achieve a close fit with the previous time series.
The ABS's procedure in compiling these statistics from state and Northern Territory sources is based on measuring production in terms of recoverable metals in concentrates or ores where possible. This enables metallic content to be valued at market price. By applying a market price the valuation is intended to approximate the concept of value of production, as it does not include freight or other related costs. An average price for the reference period is compiled by ABS using daily prices sourced from the London Metals Exchange.
It is recognised that this method can overstate the value of production, in that it may include value adding which derives from the processing of the ores. Unfortunately the processing component cannot be isolated and removed, due to the information not being available. This method is, however, a feasible approach for consistent estimates to be realised across jurisdictions.
Metallic content is the basis of presentation of data for antimony, cadmium, cobalt, copper, gold, lead, nickel, palladium, silver and tin. Bauxite, iron ore and uranium oxide are presented as ores and (with the exception of uranium oxide) the values supplied by the mines departments are used. For uranium oxide, BREE data are substituted for mines departments data for confidentiality reasons.
Industrial minerals and Construction materials
The reported state/territory data are assumed to represent production data. Average market prices cannot be used to value production, due to varying grades produced across the states. It is also not possible to isolate any transport, insurance and other ex-mine costs, as the information is not available.
There are large differences among the jurisdictions in the level of detail available for industrial minerals and construction materials commodities.
The data in this data cube are based principally on administrative data collected by state and territory mine departments, supplemented by data from other sources where necessary. Any collection of data may encounter factors that affect the reliability of the resulting statistics, regardless of the methodology used. These factors result in non-sampling error.
All data presented in this data cube are subject to non-sampling error. Non-sampling error can arise from imperfections in reporting by providers, errors made in collection, such as in recording and coding data, and errors made in processing data. It also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all providers.
Although it is not possible to quantify non-sampling error, every effort is made to reduce it to a minimum. Efficient and effective operating procedures and systems are used to compile the statistics. The ABS compares the supplied data with other sources to ensure consistency and coherence.
The above limitations are not meant to imply that analysis based on these data should be avoided, only that the limitations should be borne in mind when interpreting the data.
Comparison across states and Northern Territory
Users should exercise caution when comparing mineral commodity data across states and the Northern Territory because:
Comments attached to data cells clarify commodity definitions and highlight those areas where treatment or data availability vary across states and the Northern Territory. Any offshore production is attributed to the state or territory which controls that particular offshore area or administers it on behalf of the Australian Government. Data relating to the Joint Petroleum Development Area, in the Timor Sea, are included with that of the Northern Territory.
No data are recorded in the data cube for the Australian Capital Territory.
Comparison with other ABS statistics
Data in this data cube may differ slightly from those from other sources. These differences may be the result of sampling error (if the other source is a survey) or non-sampling error, or may result from differences in scope, coverage, definitions or methodology.
Estimates for previous reference periods may have been revised since the previous issue of this publication, owing to new information being received. The revisions are indicated through comments attached to the relevant cells.
EFFECTS OF ROUNDING
A range of related information is available, as described below.
The following ABS publications present economy-wide and industry-specific data:
Other information available
The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on its web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.
Inquiries may be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
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