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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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Contents >> Mining >> Mineral, oil and gas resources

MINERAL, OIL AND GAS RESOURCES

The statistics of available mineral resources provided in table 18.1 are obtained from the annual publication Australia's Identified Mineral Resources produced by Geoscience Australia. They provide an indication of the extent of mineral resources available for extraction with the main focus being on economic demonstrated resources (EDR).

EDR is a measure of the resources that are established, analytically demonstrated or assumed with reasonable certainty to be profitable for extraction or production under defined investment assumptions. Classifying a mineral resource as EDR reflects a high degree of certainty as to the size and quality of the resource and its economic viability.

Australia has the world's largest EDR of brown coal (recoverable), lead, rutile, zircon, nickel, tantalum, uranium and zinc, and ranks second in the world for bauxite, copper, gold, ilmenite and silver. In addition, Australia's EDR for industrial diamonds is ranked third and manganese ore is ranked fourth largest in the world. Table 18.1 shows the importance, in a global sense, of the main mineral resources in Australia.

18.1 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES OF MAJOR MINERALS - December 2006

Mineral
Australia
World
Australia's percentage of world EDR
Australia's ranking
in world holdings
of EDR

Bauxite Gt
5.7
25
23
2nd
Black coal
In situ Gt
57.3
na
na
na
Recoverable Gt
39.6
(a)734
5
6th
Brown coal
In situ Gt
41.5
na
na
na
Recoverable Gt
37.3
(a)155
24
1st
Copper(b) Mt Cu
42.4
498
9
2nd
Diamond
Gem and near gem(c) Mc
109.9
na
na
na
Industrial Mc
114.3
600
19
3rd
Gold(b) t Au
5 480
42 480
13
2nd
Iron ore Gt
18.6
163
11
5th
Lead(b) Mt Pb
23.5
75
31
1st
Lithium(b) kt Li
170
4 100
4
na
Manganese ore Mt
139
1 200
12
4th
Mineral sands
Ilmenite Mt
218.5
1 124
19
2nd
Rutile Mt
21.7
55
39
1st
Zircon Mt
33.9
78
43
1st
Nickel(b) Mt Ni
23.7
64
37
1st
Silver(b) kt Ag
45.6
285
16
2nd
Tantalum(b) kt Ta
52
55
95
1st
Uranium(b)(d) kt U
714
(e)2 643
27
1st
Zinc(b) Mt Zn
40.6
228
18
1st

na not available
(a) Geoscience Australia estimate.
(b) Quantity measured in contained metal.
(c) Detailed data are not available on world resources of gem/near gem diamond but Australia has one of the largest stocks for this category.
(d) Refer to Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2007 for comparison of resource categories in the national scheme with those of the international scheme for classifying uranium resources.
(e) Data obtained from OECD Nuclear Energy Agency & International Atomic Energy Agency (OECD/NEA & IAEA) (2006). Compiled from the most recent data for resources recoverable at less than US$80/kg U. Data for the United States of America is not available for this category.
Source: Geoscience Australia, 'Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2007'.


During the year ended December 2006 the most significant increase in Australia's EDR was recorded for iron ore (13%) (table 18.2). The factors behind the increase in Australia's iron ore EDR are the inclusion of Balmoral Southern and Mt Karara deposits for the first time and large increases at the Balmoral Central (George Palmer), Christmas Creek and Cloud Break deposits (all in Western Australia). The significant decrease in diamond EDR (down 12%) was due to production at the Argyle mine in Western Australia and resource re-assessment.

18.2 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES OF SELECTED MINERALS

Australia
World
Mineral
2005
2006
% change
2005
2006
% change

Bauxite Gt
5.8
5.7
-1.7
25.0
25.0
-
Coal, black(a) Gt
39.2
39.6
1.0
739.0
734.0
-0.7
Coal, brown(a) Gt
37.4
37.3
-0.3
155.0
155.0
-
Copper(b) Mt Cu
41.4
42.4
2.4
490.0
498.0
1.6
Diamond(c) Mc
129.2
114.3
-11.5
614.0
619.0
0.8
Gold(b) t Au
5 225.0
5 480.0
4.9
42 225.0
42 480.0
0.6
Iron ore Gt
16.4
18.6
13.4
160.0
163.0
1.9
Lead(b) Mt Pb
23.8
23.5
-1.3
75.0
75.0
-
Lithium(b) kt Li
170.0
170.0
-
(d)4 100.0
(d)4 100.0
-
Manganese ore Mt
143.0
139.0
-2.8
1 200.0
1 200.0
-
Mineral sands(e) Mt
268.3
274.1
2.2
1 243.0
1 257.0
1.1
Nickel(b) Mt Ni
23.9
23.7
-0.8
64.1
63.8
-0.5
Silver(b) kt Ag
44.0
45.6
3.6
283.0
285.0
0.7
Tantalum(b) kt Ta
52.0
52.0
-
55.0
55.0
-
Uranium(b)(f) kt U
716.0
714.0
-0.3
(d)1 947.0
(d)2 643.0
35.7
Zinc(b) Mt Zn
41.8
40.6
-2.9
228.0
228.0
-

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Recoverable coal.
(b) Quantity measured in contained metal.
(c) Industrial diamond only. Data are not available on world resources of gem/near gem diamond but Australia has stocks amongst the largest for this category.
(d) Excludes the United States of America.
(e) Includes ilmenite, rutile and zircon.
(f) Uranium resources in the less than US$80/kg U category are considered to be economic for 2006 data. Data for 2005 refers to resources in the less than US$40/kg U category.
Source: Geoscience Australia, 'Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2007'.


Australia's oil and gas resources encompass crude oil, condensate, naturally occurring liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas. EDR for oil and gas are resources which are judged to be economically extractable and for which the quantity and quality are computed partly from specific measurements, and partly from extrapolation for a reasonable distance on geological evidence. Subeconomic demonstrated resources (SDR) are similar to EDR in terms of certainty of occurrence but are considered to be potentially economic only in the foreseeable future.

The information presented in table 18.3 is obtained from the annual publication Oil and Gas Resources of Australia, produced by Geoscience Australia. The table shows that between 2001 and 2005, EDR for crude oil reserves and LPG fell by 19% and 27% respectively. Sales of gas reserves increased by 17% and condensate by less than 1% over this period. Decreases in oil reserves are mainly due to production exceeding discoveries in the period while recent gas discoveries have been the main contributor to the increase in condensate and gas reserves. SDR decreased for all oil and gas resources between 2001 and 2005.

18.3 OIL AND GAS RESOURCES - 1 January

Crude oil
Condensate
LPG
Sales gas
GL
million barrels
GL
million barrels
GL
million barrels
billion cubic metres
trillion cubic feet

Economic demonstrated resources

2001
194
1 222
300
1 889
292
1 835
2 203
78
2002
206
1 295
289
1 821
293
1 845
2 667
94
2003
176
1 108
276
1 737
274
1 726
2 528
89
2004
187
1 175
284
1 787
235
1 481
2 594
92
2005
157
988
301
1 894
214
1 343
2 587
91

Subeconomic demonstrated resources

2001
87
546
119
749
86
540
1 618
57
2002
68
427
115
724
79
499
1 499
53
2003
68
426
109
683
79
498
1 518
54
2004
79
494
113
713
78
493
1 504
53
2005
81
507
114
720
78
492
1 482
52

Source: Geoscience Australia, 'Oil and Gas Resources of Australia', 2002, 2003 and 2004 issues.





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