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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
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Mining

MINERAL, OIL AND GAS RESOURCES

MINERAL RESOURCES

The statistics on identified mineral resources provided in table 18.9 are obtained from Australia's Identified Mineral Resources publication 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.

Table 18.9 shows the importance of the main mineral resources in Australia as at December 2009.

In terms of Australia's ranking in world holdings of EDR, in 2009, Australia had the world's largest EDR of brown coal (recoverable), lead, rutile, zircon, nickel, uranium and zinc, and ranked second in the world for bauxite, copper, gold, iron ore, ilmenite, silver and tantalum. In addition, Australia's EDR for industrial diamonds was ranked third and manganese ore was ranked fourth largest in the world.


18.9 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES (EDR) OF MAJOR MINERALS—December 2009

Mineral
Quantity
Australia
World
Australia's percentage of world EDR
Australia's ranking in world holdings of EDR–2009

Bauxite
Gt
6
27
23
2nd
Black coal
In situ
Gt
61
na
na
na
Recoverable
Gt
44
670(a)
7
5th
Brown coal
In situ
Gt
41
na
na
na
Recoverable
Gt
37
148(a)
25
1st
Copper(b)
Mt
80
596
13
2nd
Diamond
Gem and near gem(c)
Mc
105
na
na
na
Industrial
Mc
109
594
18
3rd
Gold(b)
t
7 399
47 000
16
2nd
Iron ore
Gt
28
168
17
2nd
Lead(b)
Mt
31
85
36
1st
Lithium(b)
kt
607
9 927
6
na
Manganese ore
Mt
181
1 420
13
4th
Mineral sands
Ilmenite
Mt
200
1 252
16
2nd
Rutile
Mt
23
46
50
1st
Zircon
Mt
40
88
46
1st
Nickel(b)
Mt
24
69
35
1st
Silver(b)
kt
70
438
16
2nd
Tantalum(b)
kt
51
116
44
2nd
Uranium(b)(d)
kt
1 223
2 577(d)
47
1st
Zinc(b)
Mt
58
235
25
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) From OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic Energy Agency (OECD/NEA & IAEA) (2009). Compiled from the most recent data for resources recoverable at <US$80 per kilogram of uranium.

Source: Geoscience Australia, Australia's Identified Mineral Resources, 2010.


The most significant increase in Australia's mineral EDR between 2008 and 2009 was recorded for gold (18%), followed by iron ore (17%) (table 18.10). However, the EDR of nickel was down 9%, while mineral sands fell by 4%.


18.10 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES OF SELECTED MINERALS

Australia
World


MineralQuantity
2008
2009
% change
2008
2009
% change

BauxiteGt
6.2
6.2
27.0
27.0
Coal, black(a)Gt
39.2
43.8
11.7
681.0(b)
669.0(b)
–1.8
Coal, brown(a)Gt
37.2
37.1
–0.3
147.0(b)
148.0(b)
0.7
Copper(c)Mt
77.8
80.4
3.3
603.0
596.0
–1.2
Diamond(d)Mc
95.7
109.1
14.0
586.0
594.0
1.4
Gold(c)t
6 255.0
7 399.0
18.3
48 655.0
47 000.0
–3.4
Iron oreGt
24.0
28.0
16.7
158.0
168.0
6.3
Lead(c)Mt
26.8
30.8
14.9
82.0
85.0
3.7
Lithium(c)kt
584.0
607.0
3.9
4 514.0
9 927.0
120.0
Manganese oreMt
181.0
181.0
1 370.0
1 420.0
3.6
Mineral sands(e)Mt
274.3
263.1
–4.1
1 399.0
1 385.7
–0.9
Nickel(c)Mt
26.4
24.0
–9.1
69.9
68.6
–1.9
Silver(c)kt
61.4
70.3
14.5
302.0
438.0
45.0
Tantalum(c)kt
51.0
51.0
130.0
116.0
–10.8
Uranium(c)(f)kt
1 163.0
1 223.0
5.2
3 047.0
2 577.0
15.4
Zinc(c)Mt
53.1
58.4
10.0
193.0
235.0
21.8

— nil or rounded to zero (including null cells).
(a) Recoverable coal.
(b) Geoscience Australia estimate.
(c) Quantity measured in contained metal.
(d) Industrial diamond only. Data are not available on world resources of gem/near gem diamonds but Australia has stocks amongst the largest for this category.
(e) Includes ilmenite, rutile and zircon.
(f) From OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic Energy Agency (OECD/NEA & IAEA) (2007). Compiled from the most recent data for resources recoverable at <US$80/kilogram of uranium.
Source: Geoscience Australia, Australia's Identified Mineral Resources.


OIL AND GAS RESOURCES

Australia's oil and gas resources encompass crude oil, condensate (a liquid mixture of pentane and heavier hydrocarbons that is recoverable from a gas well through a separation system), naturally occurring liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas. Economic demonstrated resources (EDR) for oil and gas are resources that 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 future.

The information presented in table 18.11 was obtained from the annual report Oil and Gas Resources of Australia, produced by Geoscience Australia. Between the start of 2006 and 2010, EDR for condensate increased by 82 gigalitres or 32%. The EDR of sales gas (natural gas for sale after treatment to remove impurities) increased by 550 billion cubic metres or 23%, while the EDR of LPG fell by 48 gigalitres (22%) over this period. In 2010, estimated crude oil reserves fell to 2006 levels. SDR for all oil and gas resources remained well below the levels of 2006.


18.11 OIL AND GAS RESOURCES(a), As at 1 January

Crude oil
Condensate
LPG
Sales gas




gigalitres
million barrels
gigalitres
million barrels
gigalitres
million barrels
billion cubic metres

Economic demonstrated resources
2006
171
1 078
258
1 624
214
1 348
2 434
2007
161
1 010
239
1 504
207
1 299
2 446
2008
162
1 020
230
1 447
192
1 206
2 365
2009
188
1 181
343
2 156
177
1 113
3 158
2010
170
1 067
340
2 141
166
1 042
2 984
Subeconomic demonstrated resources
2006
95
599
146
917
78
488
1 884
2007
95
595
150
945
78
489
2 084
2008
81
507
208
1 305
77
486
2 313
2009
45
284
98
614
60
379
1 505
2010
45
286
94
592
60
379
1 506

(a) McKelvey classification estimates (according to the resource’s geological certainty and economic feasibility).
Source: Geoscience Australia, Oil and Gas Resources of Australia, 2010.

 

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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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