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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> Mining >> Major commodities

Mineral production

Tables 16.25 and 16.26 show the quantity and value produced for selected minerals. Over the period 1997-98 to 2001-02 the most significant increases in production were for nickel in mine products (55%), copper ore and concentrates (54%), zinc ore and concentrates (38%) and uranium (38%). The sharp increase in nickel production in 2000-01 was driven by increased production in Western Australia which accounts for all Australian production. Increased production was the result of expanded operations and capacity of existing producers, and the start up of new projects.

Diamonds and ilmenite experienced significant production decreases, falling by 29% and 23% respectively between 1997-98 and 2001-02. The production of gold in mine products also fell from 317 t to 264 t (down 17%). In Western Australia, which accounts for about 70% of Australia's gold production, continued rationalisation and amalgamation of gold companies to reduce costs, and closure of projects due to depletion of reserves and/or high operating costs, contributed to the fall in gold production.

16.25 VOLUME OF MINERAL PRODUCTION, Selected minerals
Units
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
Percentage change from 1997-98 to 2001-02

Metallic minerals
Bauxite
Mt
44
46
51
55
54
22.7
Copper ore and concentrates
’000 t
1,677
1,864
2,340
2,577
2,590
54.4
Gold in mine products(a)
t
317
303
299
296
264
-16.7
Iron ore and concentrates
Mt
161
153
160
176
185
14.9
Lead ore and concentrates
’000 t
838
963
988
1,000
1,020
21.7
Manganese ore and concentrates
’000 t
1,647
1,630
1,755
1,948
1,779
8.0
Nickel in mine products(a)
’000 t
134
127
141
197
207
54.5
Ilmenite
’000 t
2,392
2,156
2,134
2,092
1,843
-23.0
Rutile
’000 t
247
214
185
209
207
-16.2
Synthetic rutile
’000 t
662
569
566
650
612
-7.6
Titanium dioxide pigment
’000 t
162
164
168
181
186
14.8
Uranium
t
5,788
6,387
8,217
9,549
7,964
37.6
Zinc ore and concentrates
’000 t
1,973
2,139
2,343
2,697
2,715
37.6
Zircon concentrate
’000 t
409
385
372
377
389
-4.9
Coal
Black coal (saleable)
Mt
222
225
239
258
273
23.0
Brown coal
Mt
64
66
66
65
65
1.6
Oil and gas
Crude oil and condensate
ML
33,961
27,897
37,447
38,705
36,100
6.3
Natural gas and ethane
Gm3
31
32
33
34
36
16.1
LPG (naturally occurring)
ML
4,901
4,368
4,832
4,558
4,647
-5.2
Other minerals
Diamonds
'000 ct
43,046
35,948
29,672
22,475
30,676
-28.7
Salt
'000 t
9,035
9,203
9,610
9,492
9,213
2.0

(a) 'in mine products' relates to the metal content of the mineral.
Source: ABARE, 'Australian Mineral Statistics' for figures on copper ore and concentrates, lead ore and concentrates and zinc ore and concentrates; ABARE, 'Australian Commodity Statistics, 2002', for other figures.

Changes in the value of production for selected minerals over the period 1997-98 to 2000-01 are given in table 16.26. The largest increases in the value of production are for zinc ore and concentrate (113%) and lead ore and concentrate (111%), followed by uranium (88%), and copper ore and concentrate (67%). The increases in the value of production for zinc ore and concentrate, and lead ore and concentrate were more than three times the increases in the quantity produced, reflecting the price increases of these minerals over the period.

16.26 VALUE OF MINERAL PRODUCTION, Selected minerals(a)
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
Change from 1997-98
to 2000-01
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Metallic minerals
Copper ore and concentrates
1,376
1,397
1,503
2,303
67.4
Gold bullion
4,972
4,532
3,851
1,189
-76.1
Iron ore and concentrates
3,922
4,307
3,605
4,938
25.9
Lead ore and concentrates
402
525
469
849
111.2
Ilmenite(b)
189
212
288
169
-10.6
Nickel ore and concentrates
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
1,865
n.a.
Rutile
186
182
184
117
-37.1
Uranium
225
266
325
423
88.0
Zinc ore and concentrates
695
739
934
1,483
113.4
Zircon concentrate
218
179
284
202
-7.3
Coal
Black coal
9,609
11,611
10,228
11,621
20.9
Brown coal
385
328
n.a.
520
35.1
Petroleum(c)
9,523
8,118
11,295
12,127
27.3
Diamonds
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
634
n.a.

(a) Gross value ex mine.
(b) Excludes value of ilmenite use for beneficiated ilmenite.
(c) Includes crude oil and condensate, LPG (naturally occurring), natural gas and ethane.
Source: ABARE, 'Australian Commodity Statistics, 2002'.

Mineral processing and treatment

As few minerals can be directly used in the form in which they are mined, most minerals undergo processing and treatment before use. Most processing and treatment occurs away from the mine site.

Table 16.27 shows the production of the main manufactured products of mineral origin.

16.27 PRODUCTION OF PRINCIPAL MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS OF MINERAL ORIGIN

Units
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02

METALS

Non-ferrous
Alumina
’000 t
13,581
14,207
15,037
16,098
16,417
Refined aluminium
’000 t
1,589
1,686
1,742
1,788
1,809
Refined copper
’000 t
283
306
477
517
563
Lead bullion
’000 t
171
157
165
153
201
Refined lead
’000 t
185
199
235
215
276
Refined zinc
’000 t
304
323
405
534
572
Refined tin
t
650
595
602
1,039
829
Ferrous
Raw steel
’000 t
9,143
8,549
8,053
8,003
8,311
Precious
Refined gold
t
349
419
382
360
347
Refined silver
t
227
410
543
532
616

FUELS

Petroleum products
Diesel automotive oil
ML
13,183
12,968
12,737
13,212
13,064
Industrial and marine fuel
ML
48
32
60
98
105
Fuel oil
ML
1,673
1,635
1,839
1,951
1,684
Petrol
ML
18,592
18,705
18,652
17,887
18,000

BUILDING MATERIALS

Clay bricks
m
1,532
1,594
1,735
1,448
1,514
Portland cement
’000 t
7,236
7,704
7,937
6,821
7,236

CHEMICALS

Superphosphates
’000 t
1,819
1,464
1,429
1,379
1,585

Source: Manufacturing Production, Australia (8301.0); ABARE, 'Australian Mineral Statistics', various issues.

Exports of major minerals

Export earnings of minerals from the Australian resources sector fell to $54.7b in 2001-02, a decrease of $0.9b on the previous year. The resources sector (which includes minerals and energy resources) includes some products which are refined outside the mining industry (as defined by ANZSIC).

As shown in table 16.28, black coal (including coking and steaming) was the greatest export earner, earning $13.6b in 2001-02, followed by crude oil and other refinery feedstock ($6.4b), iron ore and pellets ($5.2b), refined gold ($5.0b) and alumina ($4.1b).

16.28 EXPORTS OF MAJOR MINERALS, Value and quantity

Units
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02





Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value

Alumina
kt
$m
11,059
2,910
11,654
3,471
12,721
4,507
13,091
4,114
Aluminium (ingot metal)
kt
$m
1,365
2,840
1,364
3,302
1,471
4,229
1,490
3,965
Coal, black
Coking
Mt
$m
85
5,472
97
5,184
106
6,597
106
8,308
Steaming
Mt
$m
84
3,767
79
3,114
88
4,204
92
5,294
Copper
kt
$m
529
1,366
582
1,616
694
2,286
749
2,160
Diamonds
'000 ct
$m
51,244
598
51,095
601
25,313
634
25,242
555
Gold, refined
t
$m
421
6,317
330
4,803
302
4,887
280
4,950
Iron and steel
Iron ore and pellets
Mt
$m
135
3,844
149
3,779
157
4,903
156
5,160
Iron and steel
kt
$m
3,332
1,316
2,941
1,268
2,931
1,543
3,147
1,381
Lead
kt
$m
620
537
727
607
672
637
731
729
Magnesia
t
$m
122,777
46
174,854
45
161,236
53
151,760
56
Manganese ore and concentrate
kt
$m
1,125
165
1,301
185
1,522
261
1,589
290
Petroleum
Crude oil and other refinery feedstock
ML
$m
14,291
1,881
20,877
5,292
24,044
8,137
23,936
6,390
LNG
Mt
$m
8
1,425
8
1,949
8
2,671
8
2,613
LPG
ML
$m
2,486
297
2,857
648
2,785
830
3,211
721
Salt
kt
$m
8,710
222
8,389
221
8,636
253
8,912
267
Tin
t
$m
10,002
73
9,934
70
9,660
76
8,026
49
Titanium minerals
Ilmenite concentrate
kt
$m
1,216
142
1,133
151
1,012
154
914
138
Rutile concentrate
kt
$m
188
148
179
131
190
161
190
167
Uranium oxide
t
$m
5,989
288
8,025
367
9,722
497
7,367
361
Zinc
kt
$m
1,126
1,133
1,120
1,233
1,456
1,882
1,488
1,529
Zircon concentrate
kt
$m
364
187
374
180
375
228
388
274

Source: ABARE, 'Australian Commodity Statistics, 2002'.

Graph 16.29 shows the value of Australia's five largest mineral exports during the period 1994-95 to 2001-02. The value of crude oil and other refinery feedstock exported increased four-fold between 1998-99 and 2000-01 due to a 68% increase in the volume exported combined with an increase in the world trade weighted average crude oil price from US$12.31 to US$26.82 per barrel.

The value of black coal exports rose significantly in both 2000-01 and 2001-02. The increases for coking coal were 26% in 2000-01 and 27% in 2001-02, while steaming coal rose 35% in 2000-01 and 26% in 2001-02. These increases were mainly due to increases in the unit values of exports particularly in 2001-02. In this year, the unit value of coking coal rose by 26% from $62 to $78 per Mt with the volume exported remaining at 106 Mt. The unit value of steaming coal also rose by 20% from $48 to $58 per Mt.

Graph - 16.29 Exports of selected minerals


The major markets for Australian mineral exports are Japan, Singapore, United States of America, Taiwan and the Republic of (South) Korea (graph 16.30). Asia is the most significant region for exports of Australian mineral resources, accounting for 68% ($32b) of all Australian mineral exports in 2000-01. Of the countries in this region, Japan is the main destination for Australian minerals, with $15b of export earnings entering the Australian economy in 2000-01. Its share of total exports of minerals was 27%. After Japan, the Republic of (South) Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are the main export destinations. The other significant market is the United States of America, which purchased $2.1b worth of Australian minerals (4% of the total) in 2000-01.

The main mineral exported to Japan is coal. In 2000-01, 50 Mt of steaming coal and 43 Mt of coking coal were sent to Japan (57% and 41% respectively of total Australian exports for these commodities). Japan also imported considerable quantities of crude oil and other refinery feedstock (4,068 megalitres (ML)), LPG (2,241 ML) and iron ore and pellets (67,834 kilotonne (kt)) from Australia. The volumes of LPG, and iron ore and pellets exported to this country were respectively 80% and 43% of Australia's total exports for these commodities.

The Republic of (South) Korea and Taiwan were also important markets for Australia's black coal. The steaming coal sent to these destinations amounted to 13 Mt (12% of total exported steaming coal) and 9 Mt (8%) respectively in 2000-01. The Republic of (South) Korea's imports of iron ore and pellets, and crude oil and other refinery feedstock accounted respectively for 14% (22,626 kt) and 18% (4,358 ML) of Australia's exports.

Singapore was one of the major destinations for Australian gold, buying 94 t of Australian gold in 2000-01. This amount was 31% of Australia's gold exports. Singapore was a major market for Australian crude oil and other refinery stock, importing 6,079 ML from Australia in 2000-01, 25% of the total volume exported.

In 2000-01, the United States of America imported a number of minerals from Australia including refined zinc metal (132 kt) and crude oil and other refinery feedstock (2,962 ML). Imports of zinc metal, and crude oil and other refinery feedstock respectively accounted for 29% and 12% of Australia's exports (in quantity terms) for these commodities.

Graph - 16.30 Exports of minerals, By country of destination


Imports of major minerals

Many imported mineral commodities have had a certain amount of manufacturing applied to their raw forms. Table 16.31 provides details of the major commodities imported over the past five years. In terms of value, the largest imports for 2001-02 were for crude oil and other refinery feedstock ($7b) followed by gold ($2b). The major sources of Australian imports of crude oil and other refinery feedstock were Indonesia and Vietnam with a combined value of $3b (or 45% of the total import value for this commodity).

16.31 IMPORTS OF MAJOR COMMODITIES, Value and quantity

Units
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02






Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value
Quantity
Value

Diamonds
'000 ct
$m
2,777
170
2,827
162
2,528
210
2,598
249
2,431
255
Gold
n.a.
$m
n.a.
1,991
n.a.
2,351
n.a.
2,390
n.a.
1,686
n.a.
2,207
Iron and steel
Iron ore and pellets
kt
$m
5,351
127
4,429
85
4,460
107
4,658
122
3,880
104
Iron and steel
kt
$m
1,134
1,061
1,127
940
1,128
1,034
896
923
1,354
1,099
Petroleum
Crude oil and other refinery feedstock
ML
$m
25,017
3,707
29,729
3,794
26,936
6,313
26,343
8,753
27,308
7,458
LPG
ML
$m
511
68
496
64
519
108
633
160
588
116
Automotive gasoline
ML
$m
483
93
890
134
1,065
321
1,189
432
1,436
448
Diesel fuel
ML
$m
918
149
1,561
225
2,574
377
1,363
438
823
414
Other refinery products
ML
$m
1,128
393
581
312
648
325
902
463
n.a.
953
Phosphate rock
kt
$m
452
30
884
64
756
54
823
62
933
72
Platinum and platinum group metals
kg
$m
3,536
61
8,329
148
3,199
55
2,158
30
1,652
42

Source: ABARE, 'Australian Commodity Statistics, 2002'.

Graph 16.32 shows imports of selected major minerals during the period 1995-96 to 2001-02. A significant amount was spent on crude oil and other refinery feedstock compared to other imported commodities particularly from 1999-2000 to 2001-02. In 2000-01, the import value of crude oil and other refinery feedstock was $8.8b while the value of the next largest import, gold, was $1.7b.

While the volumes of imports of crude oil and other refinery feedstock fluctuated over the period 1997-98 to 2001-02, the large changes in the value of imports between 1998-99 and 2001-02 were mainly due to significant unit value rises in 1999-2000 (up 84%) and 2000-01 (up 42%), and a decline in unit value in 2001-02 (down 18%).

Graph - 16.32 Imports of selected mineral minerals


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