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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/06/2011   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2011 14 September 2011
September 2011 14 December 2011
December 2011 14 March 2012
March 2012 13 June 2012



IMPACT OF FLOODS

Heavy rain and flooding occurred in Queensland in late 2010 and early 2011. Due to the nature of mineral and petroleum exploration activity, both data quality and economic activity have been unaffected by this flood and floods in other states.


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 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 8.8% (or $60.7m) to $748.8m in the March quarter 2011. The current quarter estimate is 31.1% higher than the March quarter 2010 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 9.6% or $37.2m) followed by Queensland (up 7.1% or $9.7m) and South Australia (up 16.4% or $9.7m).

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 4.6% this quarter. The current quarter estimate is 14.4% higher than the March quarter 2010 estimate.


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose 22.2% (or $144.9m) to $797.4m in the March quarter 2011. The largest rise this quarter was in Western Australia (up 25.4% or $92.1m), followed by Queensland (up 17.4% or $22.9m).

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure fell 8.3% (or -$58.7m). Western Australia had the largest fall (down 8.0% or -$31.5m), followed by Queensland (down 12.2% or -$17.1m).

In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits fell 23.6% (or -$64.7m), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits rose 1.4% (or $5.9m).

In original terms, the largest fall by minerals sought came from expenditure on uranium exploration (down 33.5% or -$21.9m), with the largest fall occurring in Western Australia. The next largest fall came from expenditure on gold exploration (down 12.5% or -$20.9m).

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 13.7% in the March quarter 2011. In original terms total metres drilled fell 15.9%. Drilling in areas of new deposits fell 33.4% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell 4.4%.

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



PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the March quarter 2011 fell 9.8% (or -$83.5m) to $766.1m.

Expenditure on exploration on production leases fell 46.7% (or -$124.8m) to $142.6m, while exploration on all other areas rose 7.1% (or $41.3m) to $623.5m this quarter.

Offshore exploration fell 4.7% (or -$30.3m) to $612.9m, while onshore exploration expenditure fell 25.8% (or -$53.2m) to $153.2m.


REGIONAL DATA

In the March quarter 2011, petroleum exploration expenditure in Queensland fell 29.7% (or -$37.2m) while Western Australia rose 8.5% (or $47.8m).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure



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