8415.0 - Mining Operations, Australia, 2000-01  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/10/2002   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


1 The range of financial statistics appearing in Chapters 1 to 3 of this publication have been derived from the 2000-01 Economic Activity Survey. The collection aims to meet demands of users who require annual financial statistics which can be related to industry in Australia on a consistent basis.

2 The Mining Collection is conducted as a component of the Economic Activity Survey. Data collected at the industry level within this framework conform to the same basic conceptual standards, allowing comparative analysis between different industries.

3 The data for 1999-2000 are now final and replace those previously issued in the 1999-2000 issue of Mining Operations, Australia (cat.no.8415.0) released on 29 August 2001.


4 The 1993 version of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) (cat.no.1292.0) has been used to classify management units (businesses) included in the Mining Collection. The mining classifications as listed in Division B are as follows:

          110 Coal mining
            1101 Black coal mining
            1102 Brown coal mining
          120 Oil and gas extraction
            1200 Oil and gas extraction
          131 Metal ore mining
            1311 Iron ore mining
            1312 Bauxite mining
            1313 Copper ore mining
            1314 Gold ore mining
            1315 Mineral sand mining
            1316 Nickel ore mining
            1317 Silver-lead-zinc ore mining
            1319 Metal ore mining n.e.c.
          141 Construction material mining
            1411 Gravel and sand quarrying
            1419 Construction material mining n.e.c.
          142 Mining n.e.c.
            1420 Mining n.e.c.
          151 Exploration
            1511 Petroleum exploration (own account)
            1512 Petroleum exploration services
            1513 Mineral exploration (own account)
            1514 Mineral exploration services
          152 Other mining
            1520 Other mining services

5 Mining broadly relates to the extraction of minerals occurring naturally as solids such as coal and ores, liquids such as crude petroleum, or gases such as natural gas, by such processes as underground mining, open-cut extraction methods, quarrying, operation of wells or evaporation pans, dredging or recovering from ore dumps or tailings. Activities such as dressing or beneficiating ores or other minerals by crushing, milling, screening, washing, flotation or other processes (including chemical beneficiation) or briquetting, are included because they are generally carried out at or near mine sites as an integral part of mining operations. Natural gas absorption and purifying plants are also included.

6 Businesses mainly engaged in refining or smelting of minerals or ores (other than preliminary smelting of gold), or in the manufacturing of such products of mineral origin as coke, cement and fertilisers are excluded.

7 It should be noted that businesses engaged in providing contract mining services are not always collected within the scope of the annual collection. Under the principles set down within ANZSIC, contract mining organisations will only be included if they are responsible for all facets of the mining operation at a particular site.

8 In situations where businesses provide contract mining services to the mining industry, these businesses are classified to the activity they are performing rather than to the industry they are serving. Hence businesses that are ‘contracted’ to perform tasks such as mine site preparation (and/or construction), and removal of overburden, are classified to the Construction industry and are outside the scope of the annual Mining Collection.

9 The annual Mining Collection covers all ANZSIC classes in Division B. A census is conducted on all businesses classified to this ANZSIC Division except for those in ANZSIC Classes 1411 (Gravel and sand quarrying), 1419(Construction material mining n.e.c.) and ANZSIC Subdivision 15 (Services to mining). In the ANZSIC Classes 1411 and 1419 and ANZSIC Subdivision 15, a sample of businesses was surveyed.

10 Mineral production data, as published in Chapter 4, is not collected as part of the annual Mining Collection (see paragraphs 20-22 of the Explanatory Notes for further detail).


11 The basic unit for which statistics are reported in the Economic Activity Survey is the management unit.

12 The management unit is the highest-level unit within a business, having regard to industry homogeneity requirements, for which accounts are maintained; in nearly all cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (i.e.company, partnership, trust, sole operator,etc.). In the case of large diversified businesses, however, there may be more than one management unit, each coinciding with a ‘division’ or ‘line of business’. A management unit is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it.

13 This publication presents industry statistics which are compiled differently from activity statistics. Each management unit is classified to a single industry irrespective of any diversity of activities undertaken. The industry allocated is the one which provides the main source of income. This means, for example, that a management unit which derives most of its income from mining activities would have all operations included in the aggregates and ratios for the mining industry group, even if significant secondary activities (e.g.manufacturing, construction) were undertaken.

14 The ABS Mining Collection approaches both operators and participants in unincorporated joint ventures( UJVs). Generally the participants supply data on their share of income and assets, while the operator reports all expenses and employment.

15 UJVs operating within the mining industry allow the sharing of expertise, resources and risk associated with the development of mineral deposits. This occurs through the participation of a number of organisations (by investment) in a mining operation, some of which may not otherwise be involved in the mining industry.


16 The period covered by the collection is, in general, the 12 months ended 30 June. Where businesses are unable to supply information on this basis, an accounting period for which data can be provided is used for data other than that relating to employment.

17 Financial data presented incorporates all units in scope of the Mining Collection that were in production stage at any time during the year. It also includes any temporarily inactive units (‘temporary nils’), i.e.those units which were in development stage or which were not in production, but which still existed and held assets and liabilities and/or incurred some non-operating expenses (e.g.depreciation, administration costs). Prior to 1997-98 these temporarily inactive units were excluded from the Mining Collection. Their inclusion, however, has minimal effect on the estimates of the financial and employment data.

18 Employment data in this publication represents employment for all units operating as at 30 June.

19 The number of management units reported represents only those units that were operating as at 30 June.


20 Details are presented about the quantity and value of minerals produced during the year ended 30 June 2001.

21 Data appearing in Chapter 4 under ‘Mineral production by state’ is sourced from the publications issued each year by the State Mines Department in each state and the Northern Territory. The tables presented cover metallic minerals produced, coal, oil and gas produced, construction materials produced, and nonmetallic minerals produced. The presentation of this data is designed to give users an overview of the level of mining activity within each state and the Northern Territory. The tables have been footnoted to provide an indication of the conceptual differences. As the footnotes relate to commodity definitions and valuation methodologies, they should only be considered as a summary of these differences.
22 Users requiring detailed information about the level and type of commodities produced in each state and the Northern Territory are encouraged to refer to the publications produced annually by each of these organisations. These are:
    Minerals Industry Annual, New South Wales (Department of Mineral Resources, New South Wales)
    Minerals and Petroleum Victoria, Statistical Review (Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria)
    Queensland Minerals and Energy Review (Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland)
    Resource Production Statistics, (Department of Primary Industries and Resources, South Australia)
    Western Australian Statistics Digest, Mineral and Petroleum Production (Department of Minerals and Petroleum Resources, Western Australia)
    Mineral Resources Tasmania, Annual Review (Department of Mineral Resources, Tasmania)
    Northern Territory Department of Business, Industry and Resources Development, Annual Report (Department of Mines and Energy, Northern Territory).


23 Commencing with estimates for 1997-98, under new international standards, contribution to gross domestic product(GDP) by mining industries will be measured by the variable ‘industry value added ’(IVA). Estimates for IVA measure the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by that industry. Under the previous standards, the corresponding contribution to GDP was measured by the variable ‘industry gross product ’(IGP) at the management unit level. An explanation of the relationship between IVA estimates and IGP estimates can be found in the Glossary.

24 Changes have been made to the way the state and territory estimates on financial performance and employment have been produced. They are not comparable with the estimates published previously. See Appendix for more details.


25 A range of performance measures, usually referred to as ‘ratios’, can be produced from the data available from profit and loss statements and balance sheets of businesses. This publication presents only a selection of these. While these are a very useful way of presenting summaries of performance, users of these statistics should note the limitations referred to below before making any judgments based on these results. Comment from analysts on the need for, and use of, these or other measures would be welcomed by the ABS.

26 Users should take particular note of the following limitations in respect of the ratios presented in this publication.

27 The usefulness of the ratios for analytical purposes depends on how they are calculated. Comparison between industries on a total industry basis may be best served by the estimates presented herein, i.e.based on industry estimates for numerators and denominators. Users should be aware that assessment of individual business performance based on comparisons with industry estimates may be misleading for other reasons. There may be circumstances peculiar to the business in question which should be taken into account. For example, is it undertaking a program of expansion, contraction, diversification or amalgamation during the period under review? Analysis of movements in performance indicators of the business and industry over a number of years would be more appropriate.

28 Differences in accounting policy and practices across businesses and industries and changes over time lead to some inconsistencies in the data input to these estimates. While much of the accounting process is subject to standards, there is still a great deal of flexibility left to managers in the accounting policy and practices they adopt. For example, acceptable methods of asset valuation include historical cost, replacement cost and current market value. The timing of asset revaluations also varies considerably across businesses. The way profit is measured is affected by management policy on such things as depreciation rates, bad debt provisions and write-off and goodwill write-off. The varying degree to which businesses decide to consolidate their accounts may affect the quality of the ratios calculated. In general, the effect of consolidation is to 'net out' some of the transactions between related business units and this may distort some ratios.

29 Finally, use of a single ratio in any analysis is to be avoided because it could be misleading. Often the interpretation of one ratio is influenced by the value of others. The above limitations are not meant to imply that analysis based on ratios should be avoided. However, they should be borne in mind when making any commentary or decisions based on these types of statistics.

30 The ratios presented in this publication are categorised as follows:
  • turnover ratios indicate the efficiency of selling activities (including the sale of services as well as goods);
  • profitability ratios measure rates of profit on sales, funds and assets;
  • liquidity ratios measure the ability of businesses to meet short-term financial obligations, i.e.how quickly can it convert selected assets into cash;
  • debt ratios indicate the extent to which debt is used as an alternative to financing through equity and the ability of businesses to meet the cost of such financing;
  • labour ratios measure the relative profitability and costs of labour; and
  • capital expenditure ratios indicate the ability and extent to which businesses invest in capital assets.

31 A further explanation of each ratio can be found in the Glossary.


32 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


33 Preliminary mining data are published in the Business Operations and Industry Performance, Australia, Preliminary (cat.no.8142.0). Users may also wish to refer to the following publications which are available from ABS Bookshops.
  • Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (cat.no.8412.0)-quarterly
  • Australian Mining Industry (cat.no.8414.0)-biennial, alternating with cat.no.8415.0 (final issue 1988-99)
  • Business Operations and Industry Performance, Australia (cat.no.8140.0)-annual
  • Directory of Mining Statistics (cat.no.8416.0)-first issue October 1999
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Sewerage Operations, Australia (cat.no.8226.0)
  • Environment Protection Expenditure, Australia (cat.no.4603.0)-annual
  • Export Price Index, Australia (cat.no.6405.0)-quarterly
  • Import Price Index, Australia (cat.no.6414.0)-quarterly
  • International Merchandise Trade, Australia (cat.no.5422.0)-quarterly
  • Job Vacancies and Overtime, Australia (cat.no.6354.0)-quarterly
  • Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0)-monthly
  • Manufacturing Industry, Australia (cat. no. 8221.0)-annual
  • Manufacturing Production, Australia (cat.no.8301.0)-quarterly
  • Mining Technology Statistics, Australia (cat.no.8413.0)-annual
  • Research and Experimental Development Business Enterprises, (Inter-Year Survey), Australia (cat.no.8114.0)-irregular
  • Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0)-annual

34 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

Other data

35 The following publications containing other mining and related statistics for Australia are published by organisations other than the ABS.
    Australian Commodities: Forecasts and Issues (ABARE)
    Australian Commodity Statistics (ABARE)
    Australian Mineral Statistics (ABARE)
    Australia's Identified Mineral Resources (Geoscience Australia)
    Mineral Commodity Summaries, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines
    Oil and Gas Resources of Australia (Geoscience Australia)


36 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300135070.


37 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of component items and the total.