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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The statistics presented in this release were derived using a combination of data collected directly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and Business Activity Statement data collected by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 provides for the ATO to pass information to the Australian Statistician for the purposes of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Please refer to ABS Institutional Environment for more information about the institutional environment of the ABS, including its legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations. For more information about the institutional environment of the ATO, please refer to Part 3 Management and accountability in the Commissioner of Taxation Annual Report 2012–13.


The Mining Operations Survey collects data required by both internal (to the ABS) and external parties. Key external users are the Commonwealth and State/Territory government departments, peak bodies, and academics/researchers. In particular, information collected under this survey will enable government bodies and industry to support submissions and proposals on a range of policy issues.

Internal users of the data require detailed economic information that can be compared both across time and against industries other than the mining industry. In particular, data from this survey will be used in ABS publications such as the Australian System of National Accounts (cat no. 5204.0).

Therefore the key objectives of the Mining Operations Survey are:

  • Measure the size and structure of the industry;
  • Measure detailed items of income and expense;
  • Enable comparisons between States/Territories;
  • Enable comparison of the industry to other industries.

The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this publication are classified:
The scope of the collection included all operating private and public trading sector businesses classified to ANZSIC 2006 Division B (Mining). The scope excluded activity undertaken by private individuals for their own use and general government organisations.

Although the period covered by the estimates was, in general, the twelve months ended 30 June 2013, some businesses were unable to supply information on this basis. In such cases an accounting period for which data could be provided was used for data other than employment. In Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0), the ABS has released an off-June year data cube showing the impact that businesses reporting for accounting periods other than those ended 30 June had on selected estimates present in this release.

The collection is conducted annually with estimates generally available within twelve months of the reference period to which they relate. For the 2012–13 reference period, questionnaires were despatched by ABS in August 2013 and Business Activity Statement data were received from the ATO in November 2013. The estimates are scheduled for release in June 2014, less than twelve months after the end of the reference period.


The ABS aims to produce high quality data from its industry collections while minimising the reporting burden on businesses. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into survey and questionnaire design, collection procedures and processing. The 2012–13 survey used generalised regression estimation. Generalised regression estimation is a form of ratio estimation which makes use of auxiliary data items which are strongly correlated with key data items directly collected by the ABS from businesses. The auxiliary variables used in this survey were turnover and wages from data sourced from the ATO. Use of this methodology allowed high quality statistics to be produced from a small, direct collect sample of 881 businesses classified to the Mining industry.

Two types of error can occur in estimates that are based on a sample survey: sampling error and non-sampling error.

Sampling error occurs when a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. It reflects the difference between estimates based on a sample and those that would have been obtained had a census been conducted. One measure of this difference is the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all businesses had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Another measure of sampling error is the relative standard error, which is obtained by expressing the standard error as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The relative standard error is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. Relative standard errors of key estimates are available in a technical note on Data Quality

Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort was made to minimise reporting error, by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training of survey analysts and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all businesses selected in the survey. For the 2012–13 survey of Mining Operations, there was an 86.1% response rate from all businesses that were surveyed and found to be operating during the reference period. Data were imputed for the remaining 13.9% of operating businesses. This imputation contributed 1.9% to the estimate of total income for the Mining industry.

Mining Operations, Australia, 2012-13 (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 late 2014.


Estimates released in Mining Operations, Australia, 2012-13 are available as original series only, and are neither seasonally nor trend adjusted.

Although financial estimates in this release relate to the full twelve months, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June of the given year.

Further information about terminology and other technical aspects associated with these statistics can be found in the publication Mining Operations, Australia 2012-13 (cat. no. 8415.0), which contains detailed Explanatory Notes, a technical note on Estimation Methodology, a technical note on Data Quality and a Glossary..


Data from the 2012–13 Mining Operations Survey are available free of charge on the ABS website.