8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2020  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/06/2020   
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Mineral Exploration


Total Expenditure

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for mineral exploration expenditure fell 0.6% (-$4.3m) to $712.7m in the March quarter 2020. The largest contributor to the fall this quarter was NSW (down 20.0%, -$17.1m).

Mineral Exploration, Seasonally adjusted
Graph: Mineral Exploration (Time Series Estimate): Expenditure and Metres Drilled, ; Total deposits , Australia
  • In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure fell 20.1% (-$151.0m) to $602.1m in the March quarter 2020. Exploration on areas of existing deposits fell 16.0% (-$71.8m) and expenditure on areas of new deposits fell 26.1% (-$79.2m).
  • In original terms, the largest decrease by minerals sought came from expenditure on Selected Base metals (down 28.8%, -$57.5m).

Mineral Exploration, Original series
Graph: MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series



Metres Drilled
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for metres drilled rose 3.0% in the March quarter 2020.

Metres Drilled, Seaonally adjusted
Graph: METRES DRILLED, Seaonally adjusted
  • In original terms, metres drilled fell -17.3%. Drilling in areas of new deposits fell -12.3% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell -19.9%.

Metres Drilled, Original series
Graph: METRES DRILLED, Original series



Petroleum Exploration


Total Expenditure
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for total petroleum exploration expenditure fell 22.2% (-$83.7m) to $293.9m in the March quarter 2020. Exploration expenditure on all other areas fell 31.5% (-$85.3m) and exploration on production leases rose 1.5% ($1.6m).
  • The largest contributor to the fall in the seasonally adjusted estimate was Queensland (down 45.5%, -$32.3m).

Petroleum Exploration, Seasonally adjusted
Graph: PETROLEUM EXPLORATION, Seasonally adjusted



Onshore
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for onshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 25.1% (-$50.8m) to $151.7m in the March quarter 2020. Expenditure on drilling fell 10.9% (-$15.0m) and other onshore petroleum exploration fell 54.9% (-$35.9m).

Petroleum Exploration: Onshore, Seasonally adjusted
Graph: PETROLEUM EXPLORATION: ONSHORE, Seasonally adjusted



Offshore
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 18.8% (-$32.9m) to $142.2m in the March quarter 2020. Expenditure on drilling fell 52.7% (-$44.0m) and other offshore petroleum exploration expenditure rose 12.1% ($11.1m).

Petroleum Exploration: Offshore, Seasonally adjusted
Graph: PETROLEUM EXPLORATION: OFFSHORE, Seasonally adjusted


Notes

Corona virus (COVID-19) in March quarter

The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on 21 January 2020 and identified it as an international health emergency on 30 January. From 1 February, the Australian Government placed travel restrictions on those travelling to Australia from mainland China. These restrictions were progressively increased until they applied to all non-residents. In March, regulations to encourage social distancing saw further impacts on the ability of businesses to trade as normal.

COVID-19 saw a minor impact on data collection activities for the March quarter 2020 reference quarter.


Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in exploration expenditure and metres drilled. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns that will occur during this time. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying
exploration expenditure and metres drilled.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in exploration expenditure and metres drilled can be accurately estimated. The exploration expenditure and metres drilled trend series has therefore been suspended as at March quarter 2020. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend.


Forthcoming Issues

Issue (Quarter) Release Date
June 2020 31 August 2020
September 2020 30 November 2020
December 2020 1 March 2021
March 2021 1 June 2021


Inquiries

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