8414.0 - Australian Mining Industry, 1996-97  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/11/1998   
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November 26, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Profits up 6% for the mining sector in 1996-97 - ABS

Mining Sector profits increased by 6% to $18.5 billion in 1996-97, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The oil and gas industry was the major contributor recording a 17% profit increase in 1996-97 to $7.4 billion. This was due to production increases in the North West shelf coupled with a 13% increase in the price of crude oil.

Total profits in the coals industry also increased by 11% to $980 million.

However profits fell in the metal ore mining industry by 6% due to increased costs (up 12%) even though sales had increased by 2%.

Mineral prices for bauxite, copper, gold, lead and nickel fell in 1996-97, leading to a smaller increase in sales than in the other industries. However while prices fall, an increase in sales volumes maintained sales values. For example the price of copper fell by 21% in 1996-97 while the sales of copper fell by only 1%.

The largest contributor to value added in the mining sector was the oil and gas extraction industry, accounting for 37% of the total in 1996-97. Coal was the second largest contributor, accounting for 27% of the total.

Total net capital expenditure in 1996-97 decreased by $462 million (8%) with decreases in all industries except for the coal mining industry which increased by 1%. An 84% increase in the disposals of assept across all industries was the main contributor to the fall.

Direct employment by mining companies fell by 2%, while contract mining expenses increased by 14% to $2.2 billion.

The compendium publication Australian Mining Industry also examines overseas trade, environment protection, mineral production, mineral and petroleum exploration, identified mineral resources, and contains world comparisons.

Further details are in Australian Mining Industry, 1996-97 (cat. no. 8414.0) available from ABS bookshops.