8415.0 - Mining Operations, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/08/2001   
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August 29, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Oil, Gas Profits Up; Coal, Metals Down

Operating profit before tax for the oil and gas extraction industry increased by 32%, or $869 million (m), to $3.6 billion (b) in 1999-2000, while the coal industry showed a fall in operating profit before tax of 28%, or $528m, to $1.4b, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

Higher oil and gas profits followed improved prices and increased volumes of sales. Employment rose by 7% (423) to 6,245 people, mainly due to an improved outlook resulting from higher oil prices.

Increased coal production was offset by lower prices. Direct employment in the coal mining industry recorded a decrease of 1,081 people (6%) to 17,097. As in previous years, this decrease was primarily attributable to businesses seeking to remain competitive by reducing staff in the face of downward pressures on commodity prices. Several mines closed during the reporting period.

Operating profit before tax and employment also fell in the metal ore mining industry. Operating profit before tax was down by $484m (19%) largely due to falling revenues from gold and iron ore. Employment declined in this industry by 4% to 46,986 people at the end of June 2000.

Overall, operating profit before tax for these main mining activities decreased nationally by 2% ($143m) to $7.0b in 1999-2000.

Completion of several major projects resulted in net capital expenditure for the mining industry's main activities falling 25% ($1.9b) to $5.9b. Direct employment by mining companies decreased by 4% (2,078) to 46,986 people at the end of June 2000.

Value added nationally was $24.4b in 1999-2000. The effects on turnover resulting from lower commodity prices were offset to some extent by reduced values for some major expenses such as contract mining and freight and cartage expenses. The oil and gas extraction industry continues to be the largest contributor to total value added, accounting for 38% in 1999-2000, up from 31% in 1998-99.

The coal mining industry accounted for 26% of value added (30% in 1998-99). The other major contributors were the iron ore mining and gold ore mining industries, which accounted for 12% and 8% respectively of value added in 1999-2000.

Victoria recorded the largest increase in turnover and value added with 46% ($1.1b) and 59% ( $1.2b) respectively, mainly through increased revenues from oil and gas extraction. New South Wales had the largest decrease in value terms. Lower revenues from coal sales were primarily responsible for the decrease. Turnover and value added decreased by $740m (12%) and by $577m (16%) respectively.

Further details are in Mining Operations, Australia 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8415.0) available from ABS Bookshops. A summary of the publication is available from this site. If you would like to purchase a copy please contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.