8415.0 - Mining Operations, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/01/2014   
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The statistics presented in this release were derived using a combination of data collected by state and territory mines departments as part of their administrative responsibilities and data published by other sources such as the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), the London Metals Exchange (LME) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

Please refer to ABS Institutional Environment for more information, including legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations.

The main purpose of the collection was to measure the quantity and value of Australian mineral production for use in the compilation of national accounts. The estimates permit analysis not only for a single reference period (2011-12) but also over time (annually from 2001-02).

The information is also used by government departments and economic analysts to assist in policy formulation and evaluation.

The mineral commodities that contribute to the statistics in this data cube are classified:

  • by commodity, in accordance with the ABS Harmonised Mining Framework
  • by state and territory.

The scope of the collection includes all commodities for which mining producers are required to report quantities and values to the mine department of the state or territory in which they operate. Also included are a small number of commodities which could, in some circumstances, be considered manufactured commodities, e.g. liquified natural gas (LNG) and carbon dioxide (CO2). These commodities are included for completeness.

The scope of the collection excludes:
  • the Australian Capital Territory
  • mining commodities sourced from overseas that are used in value added processing operations in Australia.

Coverage of the collection excludes Victorian data for 2011-12 (other than most fuel minerals which were sourced from APPEA).

The collection is conducted annually with estimates generally available within eighteen months of the latest reference period to which the they relate. The intention is that future issues will be released earlier, for example within twelve months of the latest reference period to which they relate.


The ABS aims to produce high quality data from its collections while minimising the reporting burden on businesses. To achieve this, data were sourced from agencies already collecting the data from mining producers.

Any collection of data may encounter factors that affect the reliability of the resulting statistics, regardless of the methodology used. These factors result in non-sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from imperfections in reporting by providers, errors made in collection, such as in recording and coding data, and errors made in processing data. It also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all providers.

Although it is not possible to quantify non-sampling error, every effort is made to reduce it to a minimum. Efficient and effective operating procedures and systems are used to compile the statistics. The ABS compares the supplied data with other sources to ensure consistency and coherence.

The ABS (or its predecessor, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics) has been disseminating data about mining and mining commodities since the early twentieth century. For many years data were collected directly from mining producers via censuses or surveys. Concurrently, state and territory mines departments were collecting commodities data from mining producers as part of their administrative responsibilities. To reduce provider burden, in 2000 the ABS developed the Harmonised Mining Framework in consultation with industry sources and major users of the data with a view to providing a standardised framework for compiling the administrative data for input to the national accounts. Since 2001-02, ABS has used the Harmonised Mining Framework to compile and disseminate mining commodities administrative data collected by the various jurisdictions.

The commodity data are not all collected on the same basis in each jurisdiction. Definitional requirements vary and so too does the range of commodities upon which royalties are payable. This is essentially because each jurisdiction operates according to its own legislation. Some of the differences across jurisdictions are described in an article prepared by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, available from the following website: http://www.ret.gov.au/resources/Documents/Minerals%20and%20Petroleum%20Exploration/Guide_for_%20Investors_9OnshoreLegislation.pdf

Significant variations exist across states in the basis on which data are reported - i.e. production quantity/value or sales quantity/value - and it can even vary for different commodities reported by the one state. Some jurisdictions provide value data on sales basis only and quantity data on both production and sales bases. For data from these jurisdictions, ABS estimates production value by applying an average sales unit value to production quantity.

The level of detail provided also varies considerably across jurisdictions. For example, several states break down commodities such as crushed and broken stone into finer components while other states are only able to provide a total figure. It should be noted that the production of construction materials may be understated in several states because royalties are not always collected or the activity occurs on private land.

Before disseminating the data ABS applies a range of quality assurance checks to ensure coherence. Data are checked against other publicly available sources (e.g. data published in production reports of businesses listed on the Australian Stock Exchange). Movements in the data from one reference year to the next are also examined to ensure movements in quantity, value and price are consistent with one another (Pricing information is derived from sources such as BREE and LME). Value data are also compared with data on sales and service income for the mining industry published in Mining Operations, Australia (cat. no. 8415.0) and Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0). On occasions, where data are confirmed by the relevant mines department but still appear to lack coherence, ABS may substitute data from alternative sources that preserve coherence.

The Mining Commodities data are available as original series only (not seasonally or trend adjusted) and in current prices only (not in constant prices).

Data relate to the twelve months ending in June of the given year.

Further information can be found in the Explanatory Notes released with the Mining Commodities data cube on the web page for Mining Operations, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 8415.0).

Data from the 2011-12 Mining Commodities collection are available as a data cube (i.e. spreadsheet) free of charge on the ABS website. Two tables are available: quantity and value. Each table presents data for each commodity by state and territory, for an eleven year time series from 2001-02 to 2011-12.

Inquiries about this data can be made by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.