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Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia

Expenditure and metres drilled in exploration for minerals and petroleum. Classified by state and commodity, and onshore/offshore for petroleum

Reference period
September 2019
Released
2/12/2019

Mineral exploration

Total expenditure

  • The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure increased 5.4% ($34.4m) to $671.6m in the September quarter 2019. The largest contributor to the increase in the trend estimate this quarter was Western Australia (up 6.8%, $27.2m). The current quarter estimate is 21.4% higher than the September quarter 2018 estimate.
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for mineral exploration expenditure rose 4.8% ($31.1m) to $673.7m in the September quarter 2019. The largest contributor to the rise this quarter was Western Australia (up 7.2%, $28.5m).
     
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  • In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure rose 7.7% ($51.5m) to $716.3m in the September quarter 2019. Exploration on areas of existing deposits rose 7.1% ($27.7m) and expenditure on areas of new deposits rose 8.7% ($23.8m).
  • In original terms, the largest increase by minerals sought came from expenditure on Selected Base Metals (up 10.7%, $20.1m).
     
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Metres drilled

  • The trend estimate for metres drilled fell -0.8% in the September quarter 2019. Compared with the September quarter 2018 estimate, the current quarter was relatively unchanged.
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for metres drilled rose 3.4% in the September quarter 2019.
     
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  • In original terms, metres drilled rose 3.2%. Drilling in areas of new deposits rose 20.8% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell -6.1%.
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Petroleum exploration

Total expenditure

  • The trend estimate for total petroleum exploration expenditure rose 8.0% ($26.1m) to $352.8m in the September quarter 2019. Exploration expenditure on production leases fell 17.8% (-$9.4m) and exploration expenditure on all other areas rose 12.5% ($34.3m).
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for total petroleum exploration expenditure rose 1.8% ($6.4m) to $361.0m in the September quarter 2019. Exploration expenditure on production leases fell 11.0% (-$6.5m) and exploration expenditure on all other areas rose 4.4% ($12.9m).
  • The largest contributor to the rise in the trend estimate was Western Australia (up 12.0%, $22.9m) and the largest contributor to the rise in the seasonally adjusted estimate was Queensland (up 35.1%, $11.5m).
     
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Onshore

  • The trend estimate for onshore petroleum exploration expenditure rose 10.8% ($13.1m) to $133.9m in the September quarter 2019. Expenditure on drilling rose 16.7% ($13.2m) and other onshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 0.5% (-$0.2m).
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for onshore petroleum exploration expenditure rose 16.1% ($19.7m) to $141.9m in the September quarter 2019. Expenditure on drilling rose 46.3% ($33.8m) and other onshore petroleum exploration fell 28.6% (-$14.1m).
     
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Offshore

  • The trend estimate for offshore petroleum exploration expenditure rose 6.1% to $218.5m in the September quarter 2019. Expenditure on drilling rose 11.2% ($11.2m) and other offshore petroleum exploration expenditure rose 1.3% ($1.4m).
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 5.7% (-$13.3m) to $219.1m in the September quarter 2019. Expenditure on drilling rose 26.7% ($26.4m) and other offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell 29.7% (-$39.7m).
     
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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