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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
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Mining

EXPENDITURE ON MINERAL, OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION

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

MINERAL EXPLORATION

Expenditure during the last five years on mineral exploration (excluding oil and gas) is shown in table 18.12.

Mineral exploration expenditure in 2010–11 was $2,951 million which was $1,237 million (72%) higher than in 2006–07, with four states and the Northern Territory recording increases over the period. Western Australia had the highest absolute increase in exploration expenditure between 2006–07 and 2010–11 with a $751 million (89%) rise followed by Queensland with a $391 million (144%) rise during this period. Western Australia continued to account for the majority of exploration expenditure at 54%, followed by Queensland at 22%, during 2010–11.


18.12 MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By state and territory

2006–07
2007–08
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Change from 2006–07 to 2010–11
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

New South Wales
144.1
189.9
175.3
130.4
153.2
6.3
Victoria
82.5
93.7
62.2
83.4
57.4
–30.4
Queensland
272.3
397.9
351.6
436.6
663.5
143.7
South Australia
260.8
355.2
220.8
167.9
254.7
–2.3
Western Australia
839.2
1 259.7
1 246.8
1 244.0
1 590.1
89.5
Tasmania
23.9
32.5
20.3
20.7
37.2
55.6
Northern Territory
92.2
132.7
146.2
149.4
195.3
111.8
Australia
1 714.6
2 461.4
2 223.2
2 232.6
2 951.3
72.1

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


Nearly half of the mineral exploration expenditure in 2010–11 was for iron ore and gold (table 18.13), accounting for $665 million (23%) and $652 million (22%) respectively. In percentage terms, the greatest increases recorded for the period 2006–07 to 2010–11 were for other minerals (319%), coal (169%) and iron ore (133%). There was a sharp fall in expenditure on exploration of mineral sands (down 83%) and, silver, lead and zinc (down 46%) over the period 2006–07 to 2010–11. The significant decline in expenditure on diamond exploration in recent years continued in 2010–11 and is now negligible.

18.13 MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE, By mineral sought

2006–07
2007–08
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Change from 2006—07 to 2010—11
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Selected base metals
555.0
783.4
519.0
457.1
669.4
20.6
Copper
234.5
293.5
178.7
201.7
323.1
37.8
Silver, lead, zinc
139.4
186.5
80.5
51.6
75.5
–45.8
Nickel, cobalt
181.1
303.2
259.9
203.9
270.9
49.6
Gold
455.9
592.6
438.0
575.4
652.2
43.1
Iron ore
285.4
449.8
588.7
524.1
665.0
133.0
Mineral sands
37.3
37.0
30.6
16.0
6.2
–83.4
Uranium
114.1
231.5
185.2
169.1
213.9
87.5
Coal
193.2
234.8
297.3
321.2
519.7
169.0
Diamonds
26.9
21.7
10.0
3.7
0.6
–97.8
Other(a)
46.9
110.3
154.1
147.1
196.3
318.6
Total
1 714.6
2 461.4
2 223.2
2 232.6
2 951.3
72.1

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


OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION

Data for oil and gas exploration expenditures are shown in table 18.14. In the period 2006–07 to 2010–11, total expenditure on oil and gas exploration rose by 49% ($1,090m) due to increases in both offshore and onshore exploration expenditure of 48% ($832m) and 52% ($258m) respectively.

In 2010–11, total oil and gas exploration expenditure declined by $179 million (5%), mainly due to a fall in offshore exploration of $187 million (7%).

18.14 OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

2006–07
2007–08
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Change from 2006–07 to 2010–11
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
%

Onshore
498.2
493.8
492.3
748.6
756.5
51.8
Offshore
1 727.3
2 541.1
3 318.4
2 745.5
2 558.9
48.1
Total
2 225.5
3 034.9
3 810.8
3 494.1
3 315.4
49.0

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

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.

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