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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/06/2008   
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ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2008 10 September 2008
September 2008 10 December 2008
December 2008 11 March 2009


The revision properties of the seasonally adjusted and trend estimates can be improved by the use of autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) modelling. ARIMA modelling relies on the characteristics of the series being analysed to project future period data. The projected values are temporary, intermediate values, that are only used internally to improve the estimation of the seasonal factors. The projected data do not affect the original estimates and are discarded at the end of the seasonal adjustment process. In the next release, the MinEx collection will use ARIMA modelling where appropriate for individual time series. The ARIMA model is assessed as part of the annual reanalysis and following the 2008 annual reanalysis all of the MinEx series will use an ARIMA model. For more information on the details of ARIMA modelling see feature article: Use of ARIMA modelling to reduce revisions in the October 2004 issue of Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0).


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.




The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure rose $43.8m (7.4%) to $633.9m in the March quarter 2008. The estimate is now 41.9% higher than the March quarter 2007 estimate.

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

The largest contributions to the rise this quarter were in Western Australia (up $23.0m or 7.7%) and Queensland (up $7.4m or 7.9%). The only fall was in Tasmania (down $0.5m or 6.0%).

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 2.5% this quarter. The current estimate is now 14.8% higher than the March quarter estimate for last year.



The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose $55.6m (9.5%) to $643.6m in the March quarter 2008. The largest rises this quarter were in Western Australia (up $30.1m or 10.3%) and Queensland (up $13.0m or 14.2%).

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure fell $81.9m (13.1%). Western Australia had the largest fall of $42.4m (13.5%), followed by Northern Territory which fell $15.3m (40.1%).

In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits fell $50.6m (18.5%), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits fell $31.4m (8.9%).

In original terms, the largest fall by minerals sought came from expenditure on nickel and cobalt exploration (down $21.9m or 25.5%), with the largest component of this fall occurring in Western Australia. The next largest fall came from expenditure on uranium exploration (down $20.4m or 29.3%). The only rise in exploration expenditure this quarter was on diamonds (up $0.8m or 15.1%).

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



In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled fell 3.2% in the March quarter 2008. In original terms total metres drilled fell 17.7%. Drilling in areas of new deposits fell 24.0% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell 13.6%.

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



Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the March quarter 2008 fell $60.6m (7.9%) to $709.4m.

Expenditure on exploration on production leases rose $3.3m (2.3%), while exploration on all other areas fell $63.7m (10.1%) this quarter.

Offshore exploration rose $4.6m (0.8%) in the March quarter 2008, while onshore exploration expenditure fell $65.2m (40.8%).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure


In the March quarter 2008, South Australia had the largest fall in petroleum exploration expenditure of $40.7m (56.1%). Victoria had the largest rise of $22.8m (148.1%).

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