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MINING COMMODITIES, AUSTRALIA, 2001-01 TO 2010-11
The scope of the collection includes all commodities for which mining producers are required to report quantities and values to the mine department of the state or territory in which they operate. Some commodities which could, in some circumstances, be considered manufactured commodities, are also included for completeness, e.g. liquified natural gas (LNG) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Other commodities, such as alumina and helium, are excluded because they are the product of manufacturing processes rather than mining.
The scope of the collection also excludes:
PROCESSING AND IMPUTATION
ABS assigns data received from state and territory mines departments to codes within the ABS Harmonised Mining Framework. In some instances finer level reported data are aggregated up to a single commodity (e.g. types of gravel).
Where there is insufficient detail in the supplied data for it to be assigned to a lower level code (e.g. a specific type of dimension stone), the data are assigned to a higher level code (e.g. total dimension stone).
In other instances the supplied data may already be aggregated across a number of different commodities. In these instances the data are assigned to one of the commodities and annotations added to indicate what is included.
Movements in the data between reference periods are examined for coherence. Reported data are also confronted with data from other sources such as BREE and production reports published by Australian Stock Exchange listed businesses. ABS may also query the data with the relevant mines departments. In a small number of instances ABS may substitute data from alternative sources in order to achieve coherence.
Imputation and basis of reporting
Occasionally data for a given commodity may be missing from the supplied dataset. In these cases, ABS seeks the missing data from the relevant mine department, however if it cannot be supplied in the required time frame, ABS may impute the data by calculating an average across previous reference years or across states, as appropriate.
The basis of reporting varies across jurisdictions, with some state and territory mines departments reporting production quantities and values, some reporting sales quantities and values, and some a mixture of both for different commodities. Differences between the two bases of reporting can arise when production exceeds sales (leading to building of stockpiles) or when sales exceed production (leading to depletion of stockpiles).
Jurisdictions such as the Northern Territory and Tasmania supply ABS with production quantities, sales quantities and sales values. In these cases, ABS imputes production value by deriving average unit sales value (i.e. sales value divided by sales quantity) and applying it to production quantity. For Tasmania there is a break in the time series between 2008-09 and 2009-10 as this basis of estimating production value has only been applied for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 reference periods. Reference periods prior to 2009-10 reflect sales value.
For Western Australia the following commodities are reported on a sales basis, with others (not listed) reported on a production basis:
For Victoria, the value of crude oil production is imputed using an average unit value derived from the other four jurisdictions producing crude oil (i.e. Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory). For natural gas produced in Victoria, the value is imputed using the average unit values for Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
Information is set out below about the valuation of commodities in each of the four categories of the Harmonised Mining Framework.
Owing to differences in quality between fuel mineral types and the unavailability of a suitable market price, the values provided by the state mines departments have generally been used. Estimates for most fuel minerals produced in the Northern Territory are sourced from APPEA. ABS estimates of value (e.g. natural gas produced in the Northern Territory) should be used with caution as estimates are affected by volatility in commodity prices and changes in the Australian dollar's exchange rate.
The ABS's methodology in compiling these statistics from state and Northern Territory sources is based on measuring production in terms of recoverable metals in concentrates or ores where possible. This enables metallic content to be valued at market price. By applying a market price the valuation is intended to approximate the concept of value of production (i.e. as it does not include freight or other related costs). An average price for the reference period is compiled by ABS using daily prices sourced from the LME.
It is recognised that this method can overstate the value of production, in that it may include value adding which derives from the processing of the ores. Although the processing component cannot be isolated and removed, this methodology produces more consistent estimates across jurisdictions.
Metallic content is the basis for presenting data for antimony, cadmium, cobalt, copper, gold, lead, nickel, palladium, silver and tin. Bauxite, iron ore and uranium oxide are presented as ores. With the exception of uranium oxide, the values supplied by the mines departments are used. For uranium oxide, BREE data are substituted for mines departments data for confidentiality reasons.
Industrial minerals and Construction materials
The reported state/territory data are assumed to represent production data. Average market prices cannot be used to value production, due to varying grades produced across the states. It is also not possible to isolate any transport, insurance and other ex-mine costs, as the information is not available.
There are large differences among the jurisdictions in the level of detail available for industrial minerals and construction materials.
The data in this data cube are based principally on administrative data collected by state and territory mines departments, supplemented by data from other sources where necessary. Any collection of data may encounter factors that affect the reliability of the resulting statistics, regardless of the methodology used. These factors result in non-sampling error.
All data presented in this data cube are subject to non-sampling error. Non-sampling error can arise from imperfections in reporting by providers and errors made in collecting and processing the data. It also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all providers.
Although it is not possible to quantify non-sampling error, every effort is made to reduce it to a minimum. Efficient and effective operating procedures and systems are used to compile the statistics. The ABS compares the supplied data with other sources to ensure consistency and coherence.
The above limitations are not meant to imply that analysis based on these data should be avoided, only that the limitations should be borne in mind when interpreting the data.
Comparison across states and Northern Territory
Users should exercise caution when comparing mineral commodity data across states and the Northern Territory:
Comments attached to data cells clarify commodity definitions and highlight those areas where treatment or data availability vary across states and the Northern Territory. Any offshore production is attributed to the state or territory which controls that particular offshore area or administers it on behalf of the Australian Government. Data relating to the Joint Petroleum Development Area, in the Timor Sea, are included with that of the Northern Territory.
Comparison with other ABS statistics
Data in this data cube may differ slightly from those from other sources. These differences may be the result of sampling error (if the other source is a survey) or non-sampling error, or may result from differences in scope, coverage, definitions, methodology or confidentialisation issues.
Estimates for previous reference periods may have been revised since the previous issue of this publication, owing to new information being received. The revisions are indicated through comments attached to the relevant cells.
EFFECTS OF ROUNDING
A range of related information is available, as described below.
The following ABS publications present economy-wide and industry-specific data:
Other information available
The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on its web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.
Inquiries may be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
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