Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia

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Quarterly statistics on mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure by private organisations in Australia

Reference period
December 2021

Mineral exploration

Total expenditure, seasonally adjusted

  • Fall of 1.4% ($13.3m) to $921.5m

Mineral exploration, original series

  • Fall of 4.4% ($44.3m) to $953.3m 
  • Existing deposits fell 1.8% ($11.9m) to $647.4m
  • New deposits fell 9.6% ($32.4m) to $305.9m
  • Iron Ore recorded the largest fall (down 25.0%, $43.7m) to $130.9m

Metres drilled, seasonally adjusted

  • Fall of 5.4% (181m) to 3,154m

Metres drilled, original series

  • Fall of 12.5% (451m) to 3,172m
  • New deposits fell 17.0% (198m) to 963m
  • Existing deposits fell 10.3% (254m) to 2,209m

Petroleum exploration

Total expenditure, seasonally adjusted

  • Rise of 8.3% ($24.2m) to $314.1m
  • All other areas rose 13.4% ($24.2m) to $204.6m
  • Production lease areas remained flat 0.0% ($0.0m) at $109.5m.

Onshore, seasonally adjusted

  • Rose 6.0% ($11.4m) to $201.3m 

Offshore, seasonally adjusted

  • Rose 12.7% ($12.7m) to $112.7m


Release notes

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in exploration expenditure and metres drilled. Due to Covid-19, in the short term this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying exploration expenditure and metres drilled.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in exploration expenditure and metres drilled can be accurately estimated. The exploration expenditure and metres drilled trend series has therefore been suspended from March quarter 2020 onwards. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend.

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Time series spreadsheets

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Caution: Data in Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the reference period when using Data Explorer.

Mineral Exploration - Quarterly mineral exploration expenditure and metres drilled

Petroleum Exploration - Quarterly petroleum expenditure

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8412.0.

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