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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Jun 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/09/2002   
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MEDIA RELEASE

September 18, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
120/2002
Mineral and Petroleum expenditure for June quarter

The trend estimate for mineral exploration expenditure has declined by 1% in the June quarter 2002 according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is the sixth consecutive quarterly fall. In seasonally adjusted terms, expenditure decreased by 3%.

Mineral exploration expenditure increased by 25% or $34 million (m) in original terms during the June quarter 2002. This was mainly attributed to a 20% increase in expenditure reported on areas other than production leases. The majority of the increase was in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

In original terms mineral exploration expenditure for gold increased by 17%, selected base metals by 45%, copper by 49% and diamonds by 68%. A total of 1.2 million metres were drilled for mineral exploration, 29% higher than the March quarter 2002.

Expenditure on petroleum exploration declined by 11% in original terms during the June quarter 2002. This was driven by a 21% decrease in offshore exploration expenditure.

Regional data for petroleum exploration expenditure for the June quarter 2002 is available for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory/Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Combined, these regions accounted for 98% of total petroleum exploration expenditure in the June quarter 2002.

Western Australia was the main contributor, undertaking 45% of total petroleum exploration in Australia. Queensland reported a doubling in exploration expenditure while Western Australia was down 31% from the March quarter 2002.

Further information can be found in Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia June Quarter 2002 (cat. no. 8412.0).

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