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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Dec 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/03/2011   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
March 2011 8 June 2011
June 2011 14 September 2011
September 2011 14 December 2011
December 2011 14 March 2012



IMPACT OF FLOODS

Heavy rain and flooding occurred in Queensland in December 2010. Due to the timing of data collection for this survey and 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 2.5% (or $15.6m) to $644.8m in the December quarter 2010. The current quarter estimate is 20.1% higher than the December quarter 2009 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 2.5% or $8.8m) followed by Queensland (up 3.3% or $4.1m).

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 1.7% this quarter. The current quarter estimate is 8.9% higher than the December quarter 2009 estimate.


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose 2.7% (or $16.9m) to $644.0m in the December quarter 2010. The largest rise this quarter was in South Australia (up 14.4% or $6.8m), while Victoria had the largest fall (down 13.5% or -$1.8m).

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure rose 5.1% (or $33.9m). South Australia had the largest rise (up 25.5% or $12.1m), followed by Queensland (up 8.4% or $10.9m).

In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits rose 13.6% (or $32.8m), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits rose 0.3% (or $1.2m).

In original terms, the largest rise by minerals sought came from expenditure on coal exploration (up 18.9% or $16.1m), with the largest rise occurring in Queensland. The next largest rise came from expenditure on copper exploration (up 18.7% or $12.9m).

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 1.5% in the December quarter 2010. In original terms total metres drilled fell 4.5%. Drilling in areas of new deposits rose 2.1% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell 8.4%.

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



PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the December quarter 2010 fell 0.1% (or -$0.8m) to $849.6m.

Expenditure on exploration on production leases fell 2.2% (or -$6.0m) to $267.4m, while exploration on all other areas rose 0.9% (or $5.2m) to $582.2m this quarter.

Offshore exploration rose 0.5% (or $3.3m) to $643.2m, while onshore exploration expenditure fell 1.9% (or -$4.1m) to $206.4m.

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure



REGIONAL DATA

In the December quarter 2010, the largest fall in petroleum exploration expenditure was in Western Australia (down 6.3% or -$37.9m), followed by Queensland (down 13.6% or -$19.8m). New South Wales showed the largest rise (up 158.4% or $33.1m).


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