8412.0 - Actual and Expected Private Mineral Exploration, Australia, Sep 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/1997   
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  • Overseas mineral exploration expenditure up in 1995-96 (Media Release)


january 20, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Overseas mineral exploration expenditure up in 1995-96

Australian resident companies spent $486 million exploring for minerals and petroleum overseas in 1995-96, 13 per cent more than in 1994-95 according to a report released to-day by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Expenditure on petroleum exploration ($318 million) accounted for 65 per cent of total overseas expenditure in 1995-96. Exploration for gold was the next largest with $101 million (21 per cent) of the total, followed by base metals with $38 million (8 per cent).

The region in which most expenditure occurred was North America with $136 million (28 per cent). This represents an increase of 53 per cent on expenditure in this region during 1994-95. Exploration expenditure also increased in Indonesia, Latin America, Papua New Guinea and Other Asia. Expenditure in Africa remained constant while in China, expenditure dropped to $2 million, less than 10 per cent of the expenditure in this region in 1994-95.

The report also shows that total mineral exploration expenditure in Australia for the September quarter 1996 was $274 million, down $11 million (4 per cent) from the June quarter and $47 million (21 per cent) higher than for the September quarter 1995. Gold remains the predominant mineral sought with $166 million (60 per cent of all exploration expenditure) spent during the quarter.

Total expenditure on petroleum exploration was $207 million in the September quarter 1996, a rise of $35 million (20 per cent) from the June quarter. Onshore exploration increased $19 million (44 per cent) to $61 million while offshore exploration expenditure rose $16 million (13 per cent) to $146 million during this quarter.

Details of drilling methods used in mineral exploration in Australia during 1995-96 show that diamond drilling remained the method on which most expenditure occurred, $139 million or 42 per cent of total expenditure. Expenditure on reverse circulation drilling increased by 3 per cent to $118 million in 1995-96.

Details are in Actual and Expected Private Mineral Exploration, Australia, September Quarter 1996 (cat. no. 8412.0) available from ABS bookshops.