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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 >> Expenditure on mineral and petroleum exploration

EXPENDITURE ON MINERAL AND PETROLEUM EXPLORATION

Exploration involves the search for new ore occurrences or undiscovered oil or gas, and/or appraisal intended to delineate or greatly extend the limits of known deposits of minerals, oil or gas reservoirs by geological, geophysical, geochemical, drilling or other methods. This includes construction of shafts and adits primarily for exploration purposes, but excludes activity of a developmental or production nature.

Expenditure during the last five years on mineral exploration other than for petroleum and water is summarised in table 18.4.

Mineral exploration expenditure in 2006-07 was $1,715 million (m), the highest recorded in more than 30 years. This was $982m (134%) higher than in 2002-03 and $474m (38%) higher than in 2005-06. Exploration expenditure in South Australia increased by $224m (more than seven times) in the period 2002-03 to 2006-07, the highest rate of increase for this period. Western Australia continued to account for the majority (48-59%) of the exploration expenditure over this period, followed by Queensland (16-18%).

18.4 MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By state and territory

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
Change from 2002-03 to 2006-07
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

New South Wales
58.8
50.5
73.6
114.0
144.1
145.1
Victoria
46.2
53.5
51.5
74.1
82.5
78.6
Queensland
114.2
125.2
166.4
218.8
272.3
138.4
South Australia
36.7
41.7
66.8
146.5
260.7
610.4
Western Australia
423.6
465.8
606.0
590.2
839.1
98.1
Tasmania
4.3
7.5
8.3
22.6
23.7
451.2
Northern Territory
49.0
42.5
55.6
74.7
92.2
88.2
Australia
732.8
786.7
1 028.3
1 240.7
1 714.6
134.0

Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).


Most of the expenditure in the period 2002-03 to 2006-07 was related to exploration for gold (table 18.5). In this period, gold exploration expenditure accounted for 27-52% of total mineral exploration expenditure. The greatest increases recorded for this period were for iron ore and copper exploration, increasing by $241m (more than five times) and $195m (more than six times) respectively. In percentage terms uranium exploration was the largest, increasing from $7m to $114m over the same period (over sixteen times). Significant increases were also recorded for silver, lead and zinc (more than three times), coal (more than double) and nickel and cobalt (more than double).

In 2006-07, total mineral exploration expenditure was 38% higher than in 2005-06, mainly due to increases in iron ore (77%), copper (68%), silver, lead and zinc (96%) and uranium (103%) exploration expenditure.

18.5 MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By mineral sought

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
Change from 2002-03 to 2006-07
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Selected base metals
Copper
39.8
37.8
71.3
139.5
234.5
489.2
Silver, lead, zinc
36.7
29.7
31.2
71.1
139.4
279.8
Nickel, cobalt
65.9
84.2
158.6
145.9
181.1
174.8
Gold
378.4
397.1
391.7
399.7
455.8
20.5
Iron ore
44.4
63.7
138.0
161.2
285.3
542.6
Mineral sands
27.3
23.8
27.6
29.2
37.4
37.0
Uranium
6.9
10.5
20.7
56.1
114.1
1 553.6
Coal
77.8
81.5
126.8
166.4
193.3
148.5
Diamonds
29.9
25.8
23.7
22.6
26.9
-10.0
Other(a)
25.8
32.5
38.7
49.0
46.8
81.4
Total
732.8
786.7
1 028.3
1 240.7
1 714.6
134.0

(a) Includes tin, tungsten, scheelite, wolfram and construction materials.
Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).


In the period 2002-03 to 2006-07, expenditure on oil and gas exploration rose by 124% ($1,231m) (table 18.6) due to increases in both onshore and offshore exploration expenditure of 160% ($307m) and 115% ($924m).

In 2006-07, offshore oil and gas exploration expenditure was higher by 91% ($821m) compared with the previous year while onshore exploration was 40% ($142m) higher.

18.6 OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
Change from 2002-03 to 2006-07
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Onshore
191.3
230.5
270.1
355.8
498.2
160.4
Offshore
803.7
713.5
774.6
906.1
1 727.3
114.9
Total
995.0
944.0
1 044.7
1 262.0
2 225.5
123.7

Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (8412.0).





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