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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
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Contents >> Mining >> Mineral, oil and gas resources

MINERAL, OIL AND GAS RESOURCES

The statistics of available mineral resources provided in table 18.1 are obtained from Australia's Identified Mineral Resources produced by Geoscience Australia. They provide an indication of the extent of mineral resources available for extraction, with the main focus being on economic demonstrated resources (EDR).

EDR is a measure of the resources that are established, analytically demonstrated or assumed with reasonable certainty to be profitable for extraction or production under defined investment assumptions. Classifying a mineral resource as EDR reflects a high degree of certainty as to the size and quality of the resource and its economic viability.

Table 18.1 shows the importance of the main mineral resources in Australia for the year ended December 2008.

In terms of Australia's ranking in world holdings of EDR, in 2007 Australia had the world's largest EDR of brown coal (recoverable), lead, rutile, zircon, nickel, uranium and zinc, and ranked second in the world for bauxite, copper, gold, lithium, ilmenite, silver and tantalum. In addition, Australia's EDR for industrial diamonds was ranked third and manganese ore was ranked fourth largest in the world.

18.1 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES OF MAJOR MINERALS-December 2008

Mineral
Australia
World
Australia's percentage
of world EDR
Australia's ranking
in world holdings of
EDR -2007

Bauxite Gt
6
27
23
2nd
Black coal
In situ Gt
56
na
na
na
Recoverable Gt
39
(a)681
6
6th
Brown coal
In situ Gt
44
na
na
na
Recoverable Gt
37
(a)147
25
1st
Copper(b) Mt Cu
78
603
13
2nd
Diamond
Gem and near gem(c) Mc
92
na
na
na
Industrial Mc
96
586
16
3rd
Gold(b) t Au
6 255
4 865
na
2nd
Iron ore Gt
24
158
15
4th
Lead(b) Mt Pb
27
82
33
1st
Lithium(b) kt Li
584
4 514
13
n.a.
Manganese ore Mt
181
1 370
13
4th
Mineral sands
Ilmenite Mt
212
1 266
17
2nd
Rutile Mt
23
46
50
1st
Zircon Mt
39
87
45
1st
Nickel(b) Mt Ni
26
70
38
1st
Silver(b) kt Ag
61
302
20
2nd
Tantalum(b) kt Ta
42
130
32
2nd
Uranium(b)(d) kt U
1 163
(e)3 047
38
1st
Zinc(b) Mt Zn
53
193
28
1st

na not available
(a) Geoscience Australia estimate.
(b) Quantity measured in contained metal.
(c) Detailed data are not available on world resources of gem/near gem diamond but Australia has one of the largest stocks for this category.
(d) Refer to Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2008 for comparison of resource categories in the national scheme with those of the international scheme for classifying uranium resources.
(e) Source: OECD Nuclear Energy Agency & International Atomic Energy Agency (OECD/NEA & IAEA) (2007). Compiled from the most recent data for resources recoverable at <US$80 per kilogram of uranium. Data for the United States of America is not available for this category.
Source: Geoscience Australia,' Australia's Identified Mineral Resources'.
Note: See table 19.2 in the Energy Chapter of this edition of Year Book Australia for more recent Australian data.


For the year ended December 2008 the most significant increase in Australia's mineral EDR was recorded for lithium (246%) (table 18.2). The most significant factor for this increase in lithium EDR was drilling work at the Greenbushes mine in Western Australia which identified substantial additional resources.

The EDR of copper increased by 31%, resources of zinc and silver rose by 25% and 23% respectively, while the EDR of uranium and iron ore both increased by 18%. The EDR of industrial diamonds was down 6%, while mineral sands (comprising ilmenite, rutile and zircon) fell by 3%.

18.2 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES OF SELECTED MINERALS

Australia

World

Mineral
2007
2008
% change
2007
2008
% change

Bauxite
Gt
6.2
6.2
25.0
27.0
8.0
Coal, black(a)
Gt
38.9
39.2
0.8
687.0
(b)681.0
-0.9
Coal, brown(a)
Gt
37.3
37.2
-0.3
148.0
(b)147.0
-0.7
Copper(c)
Mt Cu
59.4
77.8
31.0
525.0
603.0
14.9
Diamond(d)
Mc
101.3
95.7
-5.5
590.0
586.0
-0.7
Gold(c)
t Au
5 839.0
6 255.0
7.1
42 000.0
48 655.0
15.8
Iron ore
Gt
20.3
24.0
18.2
154.0
158.0
2.6
Lead(c)
Mt Pb
23.3
26.8
15.0
78.0
82.0
5.1
Lithium(c)
kt Li
169.0
584.0
245.6
4 269.0
4 514.0
5.7
Manganese ore
Mt
164.0
181.0
10.4
1 300.0
1 370.0
5.4
Mineral sands(e)
Mt
283.5
274.3
-3.2
1 405.0
1 399.0
-0.4
Nickel(c)
Mt Ni
25.8
26.4
2.3
68.7
69.9
1.7
Silver(c)
kt Ag
50.1
61.4
22.6
289.0
302.0
4.5
Tantalum(c)
kt Ta
41.0
42.0
2.4
130.0
130.0
-
Uranium(c)(f)
kt U
983.0
1 163.0
18.3
2 867.0
3 047.0
6.3
Zinc(c)
Mt Zn
42.5
53.1
24.9
179.0
193.0
7.8

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Recoverable coal.
(b) Geoscience Australia estimate.
(c) Quantity measured in contained metal.
(d) Industrial diamond only. Data are not available on world resources of gem/near gem diamonds but Australia has stocks amongst the largest for this category.
(e) Includes ilmenite, rutile and zircon.
(f) Source: OECD Nuclear Energy Agency & International Atomic Energy Agency (OECD/NEA & IAEA) (2007). Compiled from the most recent data for resources recoverable at <US$80/kilogram of uranium.
Source: Geoscience Australia, 'Australia's Identified Mineral Resources'.
Note: See table 19.2 in the Energy Chapter of this edition of Year Book Australia for more recent Australian data

Australia's oil and gas resources encompass crude oil, condensate (a liquid mixture of pentane and heavier hydrocarbons that is recoverable from a gas well through a separation system), naturally occurring liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas. EDR for oil and gas are resources which are judged to be economically extractable and for which the quantity and quality are computed partly from specific measurements, and partly from extrapolation for a reasonable distance on geological evidence. Subeconomic demonstrated resources (SDR) are similar to EDR in terms of certainty of occurrence but are considered to be potentially economic only in the foreseeable future.

The information presented in table 18.3 is obtained from the annual report Oil and Gas Resources of Australia, produced by Geoscience Australia. Between the start of 2005 and 2009, EDR for LPG reserves fell by 51 gigalitres or 23%. The EDR of Sales gas increased by 740 gigalitres or 31%, and condensate by 74 gigalitres or 28% over this period. Estimated crude oil reserves increased by 16 gigalitres or 9%. SDR decreased for all oil and gas resources between 2005 and 2009.

18.3 OIL AND GAS RESOURCES-as at 1 January(a)

Crude oil

Condensate

LPG

Sales gas

gigalitres
million barrels
gigalitres
million barrels
gigalitres
million barrels
billion cubic metres
trillion cubic feet

Economic demonstrated resources

2005
172
1 083
265
1 667
224
1 411
2 403
85
2006
171
1 078
258
1 624
214
1 348
2 434
86
2007
161
1 010
239
1 504
207
1 299
2 446
86
2008
162
1 020
230
1 447
192
1 206
2 365
84
2009
188
1 181
339
2 137
173
1 095
3 143
110

Subeconomic demonstrated resources

2005
69
433
117
735
78
490
1 567
55
2006
95
599
146
917
78
488
1 884
67
2007
95
595
150
945
78
489
2 084
74
2008
81
507
208
1 305
77
486
2 313
82
2009
39
249
97
614
60
379
1 504
53

(a) McKelvey classification estimates.
Source: Geoscience Australia, 'Oil and Gas Resources of Australia', 2005, 2006 and 2008 issues.


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