8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Dec 2015  
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SUMMARY COMMENTARY


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


TOTAL EXPENDITURE

The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure rose 2.7% ($9.7m) to $364.1m in the December quarter 2015. The largest contributor to the rise in the trend estimate this quarter was Western Australia (up 3.1%, $6.5m). The current quarter estimate is 12.3% lower than the December quarter 2014 estimate.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for mineral exploration expenditure fell 1.4% (-$5.0m) to $365.3m in the December quarter 2015. The largest contributor to the fall this quarter was Western Australia (down 2.1%, -$4.6m).

MINERAL EXPLORATION, Seasonally adjusted and trend
Graph: Mineral Exploration (Time Series Estimate): Expenditure and Metres Drilled, ; Total deposits , Australia


In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure fell 3.0% (-$12.0m) to $382.0m in the December quarter 2015. Exploration on areas of new deposits fell 7.8% (-$9.0m) and expenditure on areas of existing deposits fell 1.1% (-$3.0m).

In original terms, the largest decrease by minerals sought came from expenditure on iron ore (down 9.4%, -$7.7m). Another large decrease came from expenditure on uranium (down 30.5%, -$4.7m).

MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series
Graph: MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series



METRES DRILLED

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 3.7% in the December quarter 2015. The current quarter estimate is 1.1% higher than the December quarter 2014 estimate.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for metres drilled rose 9.0% in the December quarter 2015.

METRES DRILLED, Seasonally adjusted and trend
Graph: METRES DRILLED, Seasonally adjusted and trend


In original terms, metres drilled rose 6.9%. Drilling in areas of new deposits rose 29.6% and drilling in areas of existing deposits rose 0.6%.

METRES DRILLED, Original series
Graph: METRES DRILLED, Original series



PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


TOTAL EXPENDITURE

The trend estimate for total petroleum exploration expenditure fell 23.9% (-$139.9m) to $445.7m in the December quarter 2015. Exploration expenditure on production leases fell 5.4% (-$7.5m), while exploration expenditure on all other areas fell 24.3% (-$108.1m).

The seasonally adjusted estimate for total petroleum exploration expenditure fell 22.5% (-$132.1m) to $455.5m in the December quarter 2015. Exploration expenditure on production leases fell 16.0% (-$24.8m) and exploration expenditure on all other areas fell 24.8% (-$107.3m).

The largest contributor to the decrease in the trend estimate was Queensland (down 35.1%, -$33.6m) and the largest contributor to the fall in the seasonally adjusted estimate was Western Australia (down 17.6%, -$70.5m).

PETROLEUM EXPLORATION, Seasonally adjusted and trend
Graph: PETROLEUM EXPLORATION, Seasonally adjusted and trend



ONSHORE

The trend estimate for onshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 27.8% (-$54.4m) to $141.2m in the December quarter 2015. Expenditure on drilling fell 40.7% (-$45.0m), while other onshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 9.8% (-$8.3m).

The seasonally adjusted estimate for onshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 30.5% (-$59.4m) to $135.6m in the December quarter 2015. Expenditure on drilling fell 43.9% (-$45.4m), and other onshore petroleum exploration fell 15.3% (-$14.0m).

PETROLEUM EXPLORATION: ONSHORE, Seasonally adjusted and trend
Graph: PETROLEUM EXPLORATION: ONSHORE, Seasonally adjusted and trend



OFFSHORE

The trend estimate for offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 19.8% (-$77.1m) to $312.5m in the December quarter 2015. Expenditure on drilling fell 25.1% (-$63.6m), while other offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 10.0% (-$13.6m).

The seasonally adjusted estimate for offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 18.5% (-$72.7m) to $319.9m in the December quarter 2015. Expenditure on drilling fell 22.5% (-$57.4m), and other offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 11.1% (-$15.3m).

PETROLEUM EXPLORATION: OFFSHORE, Seasonally adjusted and trend
Graph: PETROLEUM EXPLORATION: OFFSHORE, Seasonally adjusted and trend



NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
March 2016 30 May 2016
June 2016 29 August 2016
September 2016 28 November 2016
December 2016 27 February 2017



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