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8412.0 - Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Dec 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/03/2012   
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NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
March 2012 13 June 2012
June 2012 12 September 2012
September 2012 12 December 2012
December 2012 13 March 2013



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 rose 2.9% (or $26.6m) to $944.7m in the December quarter 2011. The current quarter estimate is 35.4% higher than the December quarter 2010 estimate.

Mineral Exploration, Seasonally adjusted and trend series
Graph: Mineral Exploration (Time Series Estimate): Expenditure and Metres Drilled, ; Total deposits , Australia


The largest contribution to the rise in the trend estimate this quarter was in Western Australia (up 2.5% or $11.6m) followed by Queensland (up 3.5% or $8.2m).

The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 1.2% this quarter. The current quarter estimate is 20.8% higher than the December quarter 2010 estimate.


MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose 2.4% (or $22.1m) to $946.7m in the December quarter 2011. The largest rise this quarter was in Western Australia (up 6.9% or $31.1m). The largest fall was in Queensland (down 5.8% or -$14.4m).

In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure rose 5.0% (or $49.0m) to $1032.4m in the December quarter 2011. Western Australia had the largest rise (up 10.4% or $50.3m), followed by South Australia (up 20.9% or $15.6m).

In original terms, exploration on areas of new deposits rose 3.4% (or $10.5m), while expenditure on areas of existing deposits rose 5.7% (or $38.5m).

In original terms, the largest rise by minerals sought came from expenditure on iron ore exploration (up 32.9% or $77.1m), with the largest rise occurring in Western Australia. The largest fall came from expenditure on nickel and cobalt exploration (down 33.0% or -$24.3m).

MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series
Graph: MINERAL EXPLORATION, Original series



MINERAL EXPLORATION (OTHER THAN FOR PETROLEUM)


METRES DRILLED

In seasonally adjusted terms, total metres drilled rose 0.5% in the December quarter 2011. In original terms total metres drilled fell 6.4%. Drilling in areas of new deposits fell 2.9% and drilling in areas of existing deposits fell 8.2%.

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



PETROLEUM EXPLORATION


OVERVIEW

Expenditure on petroleum exploration for the December quarter 2011 rose 15.0% (or $116.8m) to $897.0m.

Expenditure on exploration on production leases fell 5.5% (or -$8.0m) to $136.7m, while exploration on all other areas rose 19.7% (or $124.9m) to $760.4m this quarter.

Offshore exploration rose 16.4% (or $87.1m) to $618.7m, while onshore exploration expenditure rose 11.9% (or $29.7m) to $278.3m.


REGIONAL DATA

In the December quarter 2011, the largest rise in petroleum exploration expenditure was in Western Australia (up 25.4% or $124.0m).

Petroleum Exploration, Original series
Graph: Petroleum Exploration Expenditure



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