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9.1. The Price Indexes of Materials Used in Coal Mining, Australia (6415.0) was first published in February 1989 on a reference base of 1987-88 = 100.0. The Indexes were compiled for each month from July 1988. From September quarter 1997 the indexes have been compiled and released quarterly.
9.2. The indexes measure price movements in materials used in the two types of (black) coal mining, namely:
9.3. The indexes measure changes in the prices of materials used in the ongoing mining process. That is, the removal of overburden, the extraction, washing and preparation of the coal, and its transportation to the railhead.
9.4. For the purpose of these indexes, materials are defined as being consumables and those replacement parts that normally have a life span of less than 12 months (although, for some more durable items, this may extend up to three years). That is, they include those items that are normally regarded as being consumed in the mining process and exclude items of capital equipment.
9.5. In determining whether particular replacement parts were within the scope of the indexes, attention was paid to industry practice (i.e. whether the items are generally regarded as capital items) and to the cost and durability of the item. Replacement parts having a high cost and a long life-span (e.g. dragline pinions and gears) are regarded as capital equipment and are thus outside the scope of the indexes.
Composition and weighting
9.6. Details of the items included in the indexes are set out in Table 9.1 (open cut mining) and Table 9.2 (underground mining).
9.10. Price collection is spread across the three months of the quarter. Prices relate to specified standards of each material and are obtained from representative suppliers of the materials used in coal mines.
9.14. There are two broad levels at which weights are used in the compilation of index numbers. The first is the item weights mentioned earlier and shown in Table 9.1 (open cut mining) and Table 9.2 (underground mining). These weights are commonly called regimen item weights and are fixed between the periodic reviews of the whole index. As discussed previously, the regimen item weights used in the current index are based on usage by a sample of coal mines.