8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Jun 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2001   
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September 19, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Mineral exploration expenditure at two year high

Mineral exploration expenditure rose by 2 per cent to $182 million (m) in trend terms in the June quarter, continuing the small increases that have been occurring since the March quarter 2000, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). In the last year the trend estimate for mineral exploration expenditure has risen by 10 per cent.

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure for the June quarter 2001 increased by 16 per cent ($27m) to $196m. This was the highest reported expenditure since the June quarter 1999. Western Australia was the main contributor to the increase, up 31 per cent ($29m).

A total of 1.5 million metres were drilled for mineral exploration, 23 per cent higher than the March quarter 2001. Exploration expenditure for gold rose by $22m (26 per cent), coal by $8m (99 per cent) and copper by $7m (112 per cent).

Expenditure on petroleum exploration decreased by 13 per cent ($39m) to $266m during the June quarter 2001. The decrease in total petroleum exploration expenditure was mainly due to a 27 per cent ($26m) fall in offshore 'other' expenditure. In addition, expenditure on 'all other areas' fell by 12 per cent ($29m) and exploration on 'production leases' fell by 15 per cent ($9m).

Of the published regions for petroleum exploration, Western Australia reported a decrease in expenditure of 25 per cent ($55m), while Victoria reported an increase in expenditure of 327 per cent ($34m). The increase in Victoria was predominately in offshore drilling 'on all other areas'.

During the 2000-01 financial year, mineral exploration expenditure was $721m, an increase of 7 per cent ($45m) from 1999-00, while petroleum exploration expenditure was $1,044m, an increase of 48 per cent ($321m) from 1999-00.

Further information can be found in Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, June Quarter 2001 (cat. no. 8412.0). If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact theABS Bookshop in your capital city.