8414.0 - Australian Mining Industry, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/10/2000   
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October 31, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ABS snapshot shows mining profits down

Operating profit before tax for coal and metal ore mining and oil and gas extraction fell by 7 per cent, or $526 million, to $6.6 billion in 1998-99, according to a detailed statistical snapshot released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Total net capital expenditure in 1998-99 for these industries decreased by 6 per cent to $7.9 billion in 1998-99, while national value added for these industries was $24.1 billion. Direct employment fell by 7 per cent to 47,300 persons. However, contract mining expenses increased 5 per cent to $3.1 billion.

Operating profit before tax in the coal mining industry rose by $495 million to $1.4 billion, with improved productivity and increased production partially offsetting declining prices. Coal mining was the second largest contributor to national value added, accounting for 30 per cent of the total, with $7.2 billion. The industry reported the largest decrease in direct employment, down 3,089 persons (14 per cent) to 19,704 persons.

Record low oil prices in 1998-99 contributed to operating profit before tax in the oil and gas extraction industry, falling 37 per cent, or $1.6 billion, to $2.7 billion. The expansion of the North-West Shelf project was a major factor in the increase in net capital expenditure of 41 per cent, to $2.8 billion, within the industry.

Oil and gas extraction remained the largest contributor to national value added, accounting for 31 per cent, with $7.5 billion in 1998-99. Employment in the oil and gas industry increased by 5 per cent, rising to 4,492 persons in 1998-99.

Operating profit before tax in the metal ore mining industry rose by $575 million to $2.5 billion in 1998-99. Much of this increase was attributable to increases in the value of sales within the iron ore mining and copper ore mining industries.

Completion of several major projects in the metal ore mining industry resulted in net capital expenditure falling 23 per cent to $4.1 billion. Direct employment decreased 4 per cent to 23,104 persons in 1998-99. Most of this decrease was related to reduced employment in the gold mining industry.

Further details are in Australian Mining Industry, 1998-99 (cat. no. 8414.0) available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. The compendium publication also examines identified mineral resources, mineral and petroleum exploration, mineral production, international trade, the environment, and research and development and contains a specially prepared article entitled Development of the Australian Mining Industry. The summary of the publication may be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.