Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Mining >> Mineral exploration

Exploration involves the search for new ore occurrences or undiscovered oil or gas, and/or appraisal intended to delineate or greatly extend the limits of known deposits of minerals or oil or gas reservoirs by geological, geophysical, geochemical, drilling or other methods. This includes construction of shafts and adits primarily for exploration purposes, but excludes activity of a developmental or production nature. Exploration for water is excluded.


Mineral exploration expenditure

Expenditure in Australia during the last five years on private mineral exploration other than for petroleum is summarised in table 18.5.

Mineral exploration expenditure in 1999-2000 was $676m, $284m (30%) lower than in 1995-96, and $162m (19%) lower than in 1998-99. Western Australia and Queensland, with expenditure lower by $105m (20%) and $98m (54%) respectively, were the main contributors to the fall between 1995-96 and 1999-2000. Western Australia continued to account for the majority of the exploration expenditure over this period and in 1999-2000.


18.5 PRIVATE MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By State/Territory

State/Territory
1995-96

$m
1996-97

$m
1997-98

$m
1998-99

$m
1999-2000

$m

New South Wales
80.4
94.1
88.2
65.6
56.1
Victoria
42.6
51.8
43.1
37.0
33.8
Queensland
181.0
160.7
133.2
93.8
82.6
South Australia
24.1
35.1
45.0
41.9
22.6
Western Australia
519.5
691.7
660.4
523.1
415.0
Tasmania
18.8
26.0
20.7
11.9
8.8
Northern Territory
93.9
88.9
75.9
64.5
57.5
Australia
960.3
1,148.6
1,066.8
837.8
676.3

Source: Mineral And Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).



Drilling methods used in Australia

The drilling method with the highest reported expenditure in 1999-2000 was diamond drilling. This method accounted for 40% of the total $257m expenditure reported, although it contributed only 16% of the 6.5 million metres drilled.

The most used method in terms of metres drilled for 1999-2000 was reverse circulation, contributing 34% (2.2 million metres) of the total 6.5 million metres drilled. This method accounted for 33% ($84m) of total drilling expenditure.

Rotary air blast was the second most used drilling method in terms of metres drilled, contributing 24% (1.6 million metres) of the total metres drilled. However, this method accounted for only 10% of the total exploration expenditure for drilling.

Tables 18.6 and 18.7 show metres drilled and expenditure by drilling methods for all areas (including exploration on production leases and all other areas) by State and Territory.


18.6 TOTAL METRES DRILLED, By State/Territory - 1999-2000

Drilling method
NSW

’000
metres
Vic.

’000
metres
Qld

’000
metres
SA

’000
metres
WA

’000
metres
Tas.

’000
metres
NT

’000
metres
Aust.

’000
metres

Diamond
117
n.p.
140
18
686
n.p.
15
1,061
Reverse circulation
116
n.p.
108
38
1,789
n.p.
157
2,232
Percussion
n.p.
58
n.p.
32
139
Rotary air blast
47
n.p.
353
142
935
n.p.
1,560
Aircore/Vacuum
178
263
n.p.
11
863
n.p.
1,374
Other
n.p.
n.p.
n.p.
n.p.
26
n.p.
123
Total
513
350
706
273
4,331
21
294
6,489

Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia September Quarter 2000 (8412.0).


18.7 TOTAL DRILLING EXPENDITURE, By State/Territory - 1999-2000

Drilling method
NSW

$m
Vic.

$m
Qld

$m
SA

$m
WA

$m
Tas.

$m
NT

$m
Aust.

$m

Diamond
16.7
n.p.
15.4
1.1
59.2
n.p.
1.9
103.5
Reverse circulation
4.7
n.p.
5.0
1.0
67.9
n.p.
4.5
84.0
Percussion
n.p.
2.5
n.p.
1.2
5.3
Rotary air blast
0.9
n.p.
8.6
1.7
12.3
n.p.
24.9
Aircore/Vacuum
3.8
5.0
n.p.
0.2
19.5
n.p.
30.4
Other
n.p.
n.p.
n.p.
n.p.
3.9
n.p.
8.5
Total
28.3
11.7
34.4
6.1
164.0
3.3
8.6
256.6

Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, September Quarter 2000 (8412.0).


Petroleum exploration expenditure

Total private petroleum exploration expenditure was $723.3m in 1999-2000 (table 18.8), slightly lower than in 1995-96. Between 1995-96 and 1999-2000 offshore exploration expenditure increased by $63m (11%) to $613m, whereas onshore exploration expenditure fell by $65m (37%) to $110m.

Reported expenditure on petroleum exploration in 1999-2000 was $144m (17%) lower than in 1998-99.

18.8 PRIVATE PETROLEUM EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

1995-96

$m
1996-97

$m
1997-98

$m
1998-99

$m
1999-2000

$m

Onshore
174.8
251.9
232.2
182.3
110.1
Offshore
550.3
601.0
748.9
685.4
613.2
Total
725.1
853.0
981.2
867.7
723.3

Source: Mineral And Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).


Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.