Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia

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

Reference period
March 2022

Mineral exploration

Total expenditure, seasonally adjusted

  • Rise of 4.7% ($43.6m) to $968.5m

Mineral exploration, original series

  • Fall of 10.8% ($103.0m) to $848.7m 
  • Existing deposits fell 8.7% ($55.9m) to $588.6m
  • New deposits fell 15.3% ($47.1m) to $260.1m
  • Selected Base Metals recorded the largest fall (down 24.9%, $65.9m) to $199.1m

Metres drilled, seasonally adjusted

  • Fall of 0.3% (8.4km) to 3,129.2km

Metres drilled, original series

  • Fall of 15.6% (493.0km) to 2,657.3km
  • Existing deposits fell 16.0% (348.0km) to 1,827.9km
  • New deposits fell 14.9% (145.0km) to 829.4km

Petroleum exploration

Total expenditure, seasonally adjusted

  • Rise of 7.6% ($23.9m) to $340.0m
  • All other areas rose 17.3% ($36.1m) to $244.9m
  • Production lease areas fell 11.2% ($12.0m) to $95.2m.

Onshore, seasonally adjusted

  • Fell 9.7% ($18.9m) to $176.3m 

Offshore, seasonally adjusted

  • Rose 35.4% ($42.8m) to $163.7m


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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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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