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Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia

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

Reference period
June 2020
Released
31/08/2020
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    Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, September 2020
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    Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, December 2020
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    Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, March 2021
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Mineral exploration

Total expenditure

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for mineral exploration expenditure fell 6.8% (-$48.3m) to $665.0m in the June quarter 2020. The largest contributor to the fall this quarter was Western Australia (down 7.8%, -$33.3m).
     
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  • In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure rose 11.9% ($72.7m) to $683.3m in the June quarter 2020. Expenditure on areas of existing deposits rose 17.5% ($67.5m) and expenditure on areas of new deposits rose 2.4% ($5.3m).
  • In original terms, the largest decrease by minerals sought came from expenditure on Selected Base Metals (down 4.3%, -$6.0m).
     
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Metres drilled

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for metres drilled fell 13.2% in the June quarter 2020.
     
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  • In original terms, metres drilled rose 10.8%. Drilling in areas of new deposits rose 5.6% and drilling in areas of existing deposits rose 13.7%.
     
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Petroleum exploration

Total expenditure

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for total petroleum exploration expenditure fell 25.7% (-$76.0m) to $219.4m in the June quarter 2020. Exploration expenditure on all other areas fell 47.0% (-$88.1m) and exploration on production leases rose 11.1% ($12.0m).
  • The largest contributor to the fall in the seasonally adjusted estimate was Western Australia (down 45.3%, -$68.9m).
     
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Onshore

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for onshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 0.6% (-$0.9m) to $152.7m in the June quarter 2020. Expenditure on drilling fell 21.7% (-$26.4m) and other onshore petroleum exploration rose 80.8% ($25.6m).
     
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Offshore

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 53.0% (-$75.2m) to $66.6m in the June quarter 2020. Expenditure on drilling fell 92.9% (-$35.4m) and other offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 38.3% (-$39.7m).
     
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​​​​​​​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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Data downloads

Table 1. Private exploration, actual and expected expenditure

Table 2. Mineral exploration, (other than for petroleum) - expenditure and metres drilled

Table 3b. Mineral exploration, (other than for petroleum) - expenditure by type of deposit

Table 4. Mineral exploration, (other than for petroleum) - expenditure by state and territory

Table 5. Mineral exploration, (other than for petroleum) - expenditure by mineral sought

Table 6a. Petroleum exploration, expenditure by onshore and offshore

Table 6b. Petroleum exploration, expenditure by type of lease

Table 7. Petroleum exploration, expenditure by state and territory

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8412.0.