8415.0 - Mining Operations, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2014   
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This document was added or updated on 13/10/2015.



1 This publication presents estimates of the economic and financial performance of the Mining industry in 2012-13. The estimates are produced using a combination of directly collected data from the Economic Activity Survey (EAS), conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and Business Activity Statements (BAS) data provided by businesses to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

2 Mining, as specified in Division B of the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) (cat. no. 1292.0), 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 or open-cut mining, dredging, quarrying, operation of wells or evaporation pans, and recovery from ore dumps or tailings. Beneficiation activities (i.e. preparing, including crushing, screening, washing, and flotation) are included, because they are generally carried out at or near mine sites as an integral part of mining operations. The division also includes mining sites under development, as well as mineral and petroleum exploration and other mining support services.

3 Mining Operations, Australia (cat. no. 8415.0) was reinstated for the reference year 2011-12. It was previously published in 2008 with respect to the 2006-07 reference year. The majority of data items for the intervening years can be sourced from Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0). Finer level estimates for Mining commodities, for 2001-02 to 2012-13, will be available as a data cube in the Downloads tab of this issue in late 2014. For Mining commodities from 2001-02 to 2011-12, please see the 2011-12 issue of this publication, available from the Past & Future Releases tab above.

Note: The ABS has assessed the 2012-13 estimates and deemed them not to be of sufficient quality to publish at this point in time. Mining commodities estimates (including 2012-13) will therefore not be published until further work is undertaken on improving the administrative source data used to compile these estimates. Mining commodities data for most states and territories are available from relevant state mine departments or equivalent agencies.


4 The period covered by the collection is intended to be 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. Such businesses make a substantial contribution to some of the estimates presented in this publication. As a result, the estimates can reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended June in the relevant year.

5 Off-June year reporting is more prevalent in industries with a high degree of foreign ownership, such as Mining. The 'Off-June Year adjusted estimates by ANZSIC subdivision' data cube in the Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0) publication provides a view of the EAS data adjusted to a June year end for all businesses. These adjusted estimates are published at the ANZSIC subdivision level for most divisions, including Mining.

6 Although financial data estimates relate to the full 12 months, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June of the given year. As a result, estimates of wages and salaries per person employed can be affected by any fluctuations in employment during the reference period.

7 Financial data presented incorporate all units in scope of the Mining collection that were in operation at any time during the year. They also include any temporarily inactive units, i.e. those units which were in the 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).


8 The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this publication are classified by:


9 The scope of the 2012-13 Mining collection comprises all entities classified to ANZSIC Division B Mining, operating in the Australian economy during 2012-13. ANZSIC Division B Mining comprises the following subdivisions and their component groups and classes:
      06 Coal mining
      060 Coal mining
      0600 Coal mining
      07 Oil and gas extraction
      070 Oil and gas extraction
      0700 Oil and gas extraction
      08 Metal ore mining
      080 Metal ore mining
      0801 Iron ore mining
      0802 Bauxite mining
      0803 Copper ore mining
      0804 Gold ore mining
      0805 Mineral sand mining
      0806 Nickel ore mining
      0807 Silver-lead-zinc ore mining
      0809 Other metal ore mining
      09 Non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying
      091 Construction material mining
      0911 Gravel and sand quarrying
      0919 Other construction material mining
      099 Other non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying
      0990 Other non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying
      10 Exploration and other mining support services
      101 Exploration
      1011 Petroleum exploration
      1012 Mineral exploration
      109 Other mining support services
      1090 Other mining support services

10 The scope of the collection excludes entities classified to SISCA Sector 3 General government. Government-owned or controlled Public non-financial corporations are included.

11 Industry statistics in this publication are presented at subdivision level. ANZSIC Subdivision 08 Metal ore mining is also presented at the ANZSIC class level in Tables 2, 3, 4 and 5.


12 This section discusses frame, statistical units, coverage issues and improvements to coverage.


13 Businesses contributing to the estimates in this publication are sourced from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR), which has two components as described below.

Statistical Units

14 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. Within large and diverse business groups, the units model is used also to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.

15 In mid 2002, the ABS commenced sourcing its register information from the ABR and at that time changed its business register to a two population model. The two populations comprise what is called the Profiled Population and the Non-Profiled Population. The main distinction between businesses in the two populations relates to the complexity of the business structure and the degree of intervention required to reflect the business structure and the degree of intervention required to reflect the business structure for statistical purposes.

Non-Profiled Population

16 The majority of businesses included on the ABS Business Register are in the Non-Profiled Population. Most of these businesses are understood to have simple structures. For these businesses, the ABS is able to use the ABN as the basis for a statistical unit. One ABS equates to one statistical unit.

Profiled Population

17 For a small number of businesses, the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS economic statistical purposes and the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with businesses. These businesses constitute the Profiled Population. This population consists typically of large or complex groups of businesses. The statistical units model below caters for such businesses:
  • Enterprise group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts and partnerships. majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised,
  • Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising:
      • a single legal entity or business entity, or
      • more than one legal entity or business entity within the same enterprise group and in the same institutional subsector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) subsector).
      • Type of activity (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an enterprise group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.

Coverage issues

18 The ANZSIC-based industry statistics presented in this publication are compiled differently from activity statistics. Each ABN unit or TAU on the ABSBR has been classified (by the ATO and the ABS respectively) to a single predominant industry class irrespective of any diversity of activities undertaken. A Mining business is one predominantly engaged in Mining activities, but the data collected for it cover all activities of the business (including any non-mining activities). Conversely, there are some businesses predominantly engaged in non-mining activities which also undertake limited Mining activities; these are excluded from the Mining statistics collection.

19 Some businesses engage, to a significant extent, in activities which are normally carried out by different industries. For example, a predominantly Mining business may also undertake significant amounts of manufacturing. Similarly, a Mining business may produce significant volumes of goods which are normally produced in different Mining industries. Where a business makes a significant economic contribution to industries classified to different ANZSIC subdivisions, the ABS includes the business in the ABS maintained population and 'splits' the TAU's reported data between the industries involved. Significance is determined using total income.

20 A TAU's reported data will be split if the inclusion of data relating to the secondary activity in the statistics for the industry of the primary activity distorts (by overstating or understating) either the primary or secondary industry statistics at the ANZSIC subdivision level by:
  • 3% or more, where the industries of the primary and secondary activities are in the same ANZSIC division
  • 2% or more, where the industries of the primary and secondary activities are in different ANZSIC divisions.

21 Unincorporated joint ventures (UJVs) within the Mining industry are arrangements which 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 these organisations may not otherwise be involved in the Mining industry.

22 The Mining collection includes Mining businesses which are operators and/or participants in UJVs. Generally, each participant supplies data of its share of income, while the operator reports all expenses and employment.

23 The ABS attempts to maintain a current understanding of the structure of the large, complex and diverse business groups that form the ABS maintained population on the ABSBR, through direct contact with those businesses. Resultant changes in their structures on the ABSBR can affect:
  • the availability of such businesses (or units within them) for inclusion in the annual economic collections,
  • the delineation of the units, within those groups, for which data are to be reported.

24 The ABS attempts to obtain data for those businesses which ceased operation during the year, but it is not possible to obtain data for all of them.

Improvements to coverage

25 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABSBR, and the omission of some business from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size. As an example, the effect of these adjustment is generally 4% or less for most ANZSIC industry divisions and for most states and territories.

26 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


27 Selected key terms are described below.

Industry performance measures

28 This publication presents a wide range of data that can be used to analyse business and industry performance.

29 Differences in accounting policy and practices across businesses and industries can lead to some inconsistencies in the data input to the statistics. Although much of the accounting process is subject to standards, there is still a great deal of flexibility left to managers and accountants in the accounting policy and practices that they adopt. For example, the way profit is measured is affected by management policy about such issues as depreciation rates, bad debt provisions and write off, and goodwill write off. The varying degree to which businesses consolidate their accounts may also affect any industry performance measures calculated.

30 The above limitations are not meant to imply that analysis based on these data should be avoided, only that they should be borne in mind when interpreting the data presented in this publication.

31 A range of performance measures, usually expressed as ratios, can be produced from the data available from businesses' financial statements. The performance measures presented in this publication comprise:
  • profitability ratios, which measure the rate of profit on sales
  • debt ratios, which indicate the ability of businesses to meet the cost of debt financing
  • investment ratios, which indicate the capacity of business to invest in capital assets.

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

Industry value added

33 Industry value added (IVA) is the measure of the contribution by businesses in each industry to gross domestic product. The IVA table presents estimates of the components of IVA for Mining that are within the scope of the collection.

Australian International Financial Reporting Standards

34 The new Australian International Financial Reporting Standards (AIFRS) were progressively implemented in Australia from 1 January 2005. As a result, a number of items in the financial accounts of Australian businesses have been affected by changed definitions, which have in turn affected both Income Statements and Balance Sheets. A range of ABS economic collections source data from financial accounts of businesses, and use those data to derive economic statistics. There have been no changes in the associated economic definitions.


35 In order to minimise the load placed on providers, the strategy for this survey was to use, as much as possible, information sourced from the ATO, thus reducing the size of the direct collect sample needed to maintain the range and quality of information available to users of statistical data. The frame (from which the direct collect sample was selected) was stratified using information held on the ABSBR. Businesses eligible for selection in the direct collect sample were then selected from the frame using stratified random sampling techniques.

36 Businesses were only eligible for selection in the survey (the direct collect sample) if their turnover exceeded a threshold level, or the business was identified as being an employing business (based on ATO information), as at the end of the reference period. Turnover thresholds were set for each ANZSIC class so that the contribution of surveyed businesses accounted for approximately 97.5% of total industry class turnover as determined by Business Activity Statement (BAS) data. A sample of 880 Mining businesses was selected for the directly collected part of the 2012-13 survey. Each business was asked to provide data sourced primarily from financial statements. Businesses were also asked to supply key details of their operations by state and territory, enabling production of the state/territory estimates. For the first time in 2012-13, the ABS introduced online questionnaires for business surveys.

37 Businesses which met neither of these criteria are referred to as 'micro non-employing businesses'. These businesses were not eligible for selection in the sample. For these units, BAS data were obtained and annualised, then added to the directly collected estimates to produce the statistics in this publication.


38 State and territory summary estimates for selected Mining industries (i.e. Total mining excluding ANZSIC Subdivision 10 Exploration and other mining support services) are presented as a separate table in the data cube. To enable the production of these estimates, businesses included in the mail out survey were asked to report data for employment, wages and salaries, and sales of goods and services, for each state and/or territory in which they operated, if more than one. The relevant data for all other businesses, including those whose contribution was sourced from BAS data, were allocated to their state/territory of operations as recorded on the ABSBR.


39 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items.

40 Proportions, ratios and other calculated figures shown in this publication have been calculated using unrounded estimates and may be different from, but are more accurate than, calculations based on the rounded estimates.


Comparison with other ABS Statistics

41 In some cases estimates given in this publication may differ from those from other sources. These differences may be the result of sampling or non-sampling error, or may result from differences in scope, coverage, definitions or methodology.


42 A range of further information is available, as described below.

Related publications

43 The following ABS publications present economy-wide and industry specific data:

Non-ABS data

44 The following organisations also publish Mining and related statistics for Australia:
  • ABARES, website <http://www.daff.gov.au/abares>
      • Australian Commodities(forecasts and issues)
      • Australian Commodity Statistics
      • Australian Mineral Statistics
  • Geoscience Australia, web site <http://www.ga.gov.au>
      • Australia's Identified Mineral Resources
      • Australian Mineral Exploration Review
      • Oil and Gas Resources of Australia
  • Minerals Council of Australia, web site <http://www.minerals.org.au>
      • Minerals Industry Tax Data - Survey Results
  • United States Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey, web site <http://www.minerals.usgs.gov>
      • Mineral Commodity Summaries
      • The Mineral Industry of Australia

Other information available

45 The ABS issues a daily Release Advice on its web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

46 Inquiries about this or other ABS publications should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


47 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much 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.

Use of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data in this publication

48 The results of these studies are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the ATO to the ABS under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, which requires that such data are only used for statistical purposes. No individual information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided back to the ATO for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.

49 Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of these data have been followed. Only people authorised under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 have been permitted to view data about any particular organisation and/or persons in conducting these analyses. No information about individual taxpayers (persons) has been released to the ABS. Aggregated personal income tax data are confidentialised by the ATO before release to the ABS. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation.