8415.0 - Mining Operations, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/06/2006   
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1 The industry estimates in this publication are produced using a combination of ABS directly collected data and Business Income Tax (BIT) data sourced from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

2 The directly collected data have been reported by a sample of mining businesses, as recorded on the ABS Business Register (ABSBR). 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.


3 The current economic statistics units model was introduced in mid 2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System (TNTS). This units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of businesses are in what is called the ATO maintained population, while the remaining businesses are in the ABS maintained population. Together, these two sub-populations make up the ABSBR population.


4 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN). They are then included on the whole-of-government register of businesses, the Australian Business Register (ABR), which is maintained by the ATO. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore, the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO maintained population, and the ABN unit is used as the statistical unit for all ABS economic collections.


5 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with the business. These businesses constitute the ABS maintained population. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses. The statistical units model described 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: An institutional unit comprising:
(i) a single legal entity or business entity, or
(ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same enterprise group and in the same institutional sub-sector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) sub-sector).

Type of activity unit (TAU): The TAU comprises 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 are 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.

6 For more information about the effects of the introduction of this economic statistics units model, refer to Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).


Comparison over time

7 The units model described above replaced one in which the statistical unit was known as the management unit. This earlier model was last used in the mining collection for the 2000-01 year.

8 For 2001-02 and later years, the contributing statistical units are:

  • the ABN unit for businesses with simple structures
  • the TAU for businesses with complex structures.
    (In most cases, employing ABN units / TAUs concorded with the management units used prior to the 2001-02 year.)


9 All units in the ABS maintained population (i.e. TAUs) classified to MINING were eligible to be selected for direct collection. Direct collection of data from these units is necessary because:
  • many large and complex employing businesses have more than one legal entity, making it difficult to identify all legal entities for that business in the BIT data
  • BIT data do not include all of the detailed information that the ABS requires from large and complex businesses.

ABN units

10 The balance of units on the ABSBR classified to MINING were ABN units, from the ATO maintained population. Cut-offs were established which determined the way in which each ABN unit contributed to the statistics:
  • First, ABN units with annualised Business Activity Statement (BAS) total sales (used in lieu of EAS total income) at or greater than the cut-offs set for individual ANZSIC categories were eligible to be selected for direct collection of data by the ABS. If selected, they were sent the same mail out questionnaire for completion that was sent to selections from the ABS maintained population.
  • Second, ABN units with annualised BAS total sales below the cut-offs were excluded from direct collection. For these units, BIT data were obtained and added to the directly collected estimates to produce the statistics in this publication.


11 Cut-offs for ABN units were originally established for the 2001-02 collection year, which was the first to incorporate BIT data from the ATO. More information about how the initial cut-offs were set is shown in Appendix 1: Survey Changes in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 issue of this publication. Turnover cut-offs have not changed from the initial year.

12 For 2003-04, a cut-off of:

  • $1m applied for ANZSIC Subdivisions 11 and 12 and Classes 1311, 1313, 1315, 1316 and 1319
  • $0.5m applied for ANZSIC Group 152 and Class 1314
  • $0.25m applied for ANZSIC Groups 141 and 142.

13 No cut-off applied for ANZSIC Group 151 and Class 1312.


14 Therefore, the 2003-04 mining industry estimates have been derived as follows:

  • A sample survey was used to estimate the contribution of
      • all businesses in the ABS maintained population
      • those businesses at or above the cut-offs in the ATO maintained population
      • 'tax exempt' businesses, that are not required to complete business income tax returns (and so would otherwise not contribute to the statistics)
  • For the balance of businesses (i.e. in the ATO maintained population below the cut-offs for their ANZSIC category), their contribution was sourced from BIT data, with some more detailed breakdowns produced using proportional relationships derived from the sample survey. The derivation of employment estimates is discussed in the Appendix.

Income contribution by unit type

15 An indication of the importance of these populations to the data can be gained from their contribution to the estimate of sales and service income for total MINING. The following table shows their proportional contributions to sales and service income.

Contribution to sales and service income(a)

ABSBR unit

ABN unit

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rent, leasing and hiring income.