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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2007   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2007 12 September 2007
September 2007 12 December 2007
December 2007 12 March 2008



CHANGES TO THIS ISSUE

There are no changes in this issue.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Mark Busby on Sydney (02) 9268 4533.



SUMMARY COMMENTARY


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


TREND ESTIMATES

The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure increased by $29.8m (7.1%) to $449.3m in the March quarter 2007. The estimate is now 43.5% higher than the March quarter 2006 estimate.

Mineral Exploration, Seasonally adjusted and trend series
Graph: Mineral Exploration, Seasonally Adjusted and Trend Series



The largest contributions to the increase this quarter were in Western Australia (up $18.3m or 9.2%) and South Australia (up $12.2m or 18.9%). Victoria showed the largest decrease of $1.8m or 8.0%.


The trend estimate for metres drilled increased by 3.8% this quarter. The current estimate is now 27.3% higher than the March quarter estimate for last year.



MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure increased by $16.7m (3.9%) to $445.3m in the March quarter 2007. The largest increase this quarter was in South Australia (up $30.6m or 53.1%). Victoria showed the largest decrease of $12.7m (45.2%).


In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure decreased by $78.9m (17.6%). Western Australia had the largest decrease of $37.4m (17.2%), while South Australia was the only state that increased (up $7.4m or 12.5%).


In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits decreased by $27.7m (17.3%), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits decreased by $51.2m (17.8%).


In original terms, the largest decrease by minerals sought came from expenditure on gold exploration (down $21.4m or 17.1%), with the largest decrease occurring in Western Australia. The next largest decrease came from expenditure on coal exploration (down $21.2m or 35.3%). No mineral category showed an increase in exploration expenditure this quarter.

Mineral Exploration, Original series
Graph: Mineral Exploration, Original series




MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


METRES DRILLED

In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled decreased by 2.0% in the March quarter 2007. In original terms total metres drilled decreased by 15.0%. Drilling in areas of new deposits decreased by 20.8% and drilling in areas of existing deposits decreased by 10.7%.

Metres Drilled, Original series
Graph: Metres Drilled, Original series




PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the March quarter 2007 decreased by $84.2m (15.5%) to $460.3m.


Expenditure on exploration on production leases decreased (by $23.1m or 17.1%), while exploration on all other areas decreased (by $61.0m or 14.9%) this quarter.


There was a decrease of $50.0m (12.5%) in offshore exploration, while onshore exploration expenditure decreased by $34.2m (23.7%).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration, Original Series




REGIONAL DATA

In the March quarter 2007, Western Australia had the largest decrease in petroleum exploration expenditure of $26.6m (7.7%), followed by Northern Territory with a decrease of $26.1m (34.7%). New South Wales had the only increase of $1.2m (37.5%).

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