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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Dec 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/03/2006   
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Note: An error has been detected in previously released data which led to an overstatement of the expected expenditure figures in table 1 in the December Quarter 2005 issue of this publication. The figures overstated are for Petroleum Onshore and Offshore expected expenditure 2005-06 and June half 2005-06 expected expenditure. All other figures in table 1 and remaining tables are unchanged.




NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

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



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 Esther Lauw 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 4.4% to $302.3m in the December quarter 2005. The estimate has risen in the last eight quarters and is now 19.2% higher than the December quarter 2004 estimate.

Mineral Exploration, Seasonally adjusted and trend series
Graph: Mineral Exploration (Time Series Estimate): Expenditure and Metres Drilled, ; Total deposits , Australia



The largest increases this quarter were in South Australia (up $5.9m or 22.6%) and Victoria (up $4.5m or 24.6%). Most states showed increasing expenditure levels this quarter, with only Western Australia showing a decrease of 3.1%.


The trend estimate for metres drilled increased by 0.4% this quarter. The current estimate is now 4.9% lower than the December quarter estimate for last year.



MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure increased by $26.8m (9.3%) in the December quarter 2005. South Australia had the largest increase (of $11.4m or 45.2%), while Western Australia had the only decrease (of $2.3m or 1.5%).


In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure increased by $35.6m (12.2%). Exploration on areas of new deposits increased by $12.3m (11.7%), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits increased by $23.2m (12.4%).


In original terms, the largest increase by minerals sought came from expenditure on coal exploration (up $13.8m or 42.9%), with the largest increase occurring in Queensland.


The only decrease came from expenditure on gold exploration (down $0.9m or 0.9%).

Mineral Exploration, Original series
Graph: Mineral Exploration: Expenditure and Metres Drilled, ; Australia , Total deposits




MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


METRES DRILLED

In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled increased by 0.4% in the December quarter 2005. In original terms total metres drilled decreased by 11.8%. Drilling in areas of existing deposits fell by 5.7% and drilling in areas of new deposits fell by 20.8%.

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




PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the December quarter 2005 increased by $44.5m (15.8%) to $326.5m.


Expenditure on exploration on production leases increased (by $87.0m or 99.8%), while exploration on all other areas decreased (by $42.5m or 21.8%) this quarter.


There was an increase of $25.7m (12.7%) in offshore exploration, while onshore exploration expenditure increased by $18.8m (23.6%).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure




REGIONAL DATA

Most states showed increases in petroleum exploration expenditure in the December quarter 2005. Western Australia had the largest increase of $17.7m (13.1%), followed by South Australia with an increase of $10.7m (36.1%).

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