Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate this page
ABS Home > Survey Participant Information
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Survey Participant Information - Economic Activity Survey - Mining
 

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SURVEY - MINING

Return to Economic Activity Survey - Help Page


Employment
Income Items
Expense Items
Inventories
Capital Expenditure and Disposal of Assets
Multi-state operations
Checklist


EMPLOYMENT

How should I report employment?

Employment
is a headcount of all persons who worked for the business as proprietors, partners, salaried directors or other employees in the last pay period in June 2015. You should report for the last pay period in June 2015 even if this is not the last pay period in your financial reporting year.

Working proprietors and partners (Q3a)

If you are the owner-operator or partner of an unincorporated business, include yourself (and other partners) in Q3a (working proprietors and partners). Salaried directors of Pty Ltd companies should not be counted as working proprietors, but should be included in Q3b (Salaried directors) or Q3c (Other employees). Non salaried directors are excluded and should not be counted in Employment.

Other employees (Q3c)

This is a headcount of all persons who worked for the business and were paid through the payroll in the last pay period in June 2015.

What about persons working for the business under contract?

  • Contractors and subcontractors who are other businesses (i.e. have their own ABN and are paid on a fee for service or commission only basis) should not be counted in Employment.
  • If the business paid another business for contract staff, and those persons were on the payroll of the other business, they should not be counted in Employment.
  • Persons employed on a fixed-term contract, e.g. temporary staff/ workforce, should be included in Other employees (Q3c) only if they were paid through the payroll in the last pay period of June 2015 and PAYG tax was deducted for them.


INCOME ITEMS

Sales of minerals and other goods (Q4) - the difference between sales of goods produced and sales of goods not produced?
What should be reported as income from services (Q5)?
Where to report income from various sources/activities?

What is the difference between Sales of mineral and other goods produced and Sales of goods not produced?

Sales of minerals and other goods produced
(Q4a) should be reported when the business that sells a commodity is the same business which undertook production of the commodity (or had the commodity produced for it by a third party on a contract, sub-contract or commission basis). Examples include income from the sale of:
  • minerals mined or extracted by the business (e.g. coal, gold, oil, natural gas) or for the business by a contracted third party
  • minerals produced by dredging or quarrying
  • recovered ore and tailings.

Sales of the following may also be included:
  • processed raw materials (e.g. smelted aluminium, refined petroleum products);
  • by-products of mining or processing, including recyclable/recoverable waste material;
  • goods manufactured by the business (e.g. smelted products, fuels, structural steel);
  • goods made from parts assembled by the business.

Sales of goods not produced
(Q4b) are those goods which the business purchased ready-made, then resold without making changes to the goods. Wholesale and retail sales of goods should be reported here. For example, income from the sale of coal purchased from a mining enterprise and onsold without processing would be included in Sales of goods not produced. (This includes third party sales, i.e. where a contract to supply goods is fulfilled wholly or in part by goods bought in from a third party.)

Delivery charges separately invoiced or itemised to customers for goods sold by this business/organisation (Q5)
This item refers to the amount of income that is charged separately on invoice for the delivery of sale of goods to customers. For delivery of sales of goods not separately invoiced include income in sales of goods


What should be reported as income from services (Q6)?

Generally, payments received for providing mining related services to other businesses should be reported as income from services. These may include:
  • geological surveying;
  • site preparation;
  • drilling;
  • transportation;
  • waste management.

Services provided on a contract, sub-contract or commission basis, management fees or service charges received from related businesses and delivery charges separately invoiced or itemised to customers should be reported here as income from services.


Rent, leasing and hiring income
is conceptually a service income, but income from this source should be reported in Rent, leasing and hiring income (Q7). The same applies to Royalties income, i.e. report separately in Royalties income (Q8) .

Some equipment, e.g. earthmoving machinery or transport equipment, may be hired either with or without operator/driver. This distinction, sometimes referred to as "wet" and "dry" hire, determines how this type of income should be reported.
  • Where the business derives income from hiring out equipment without operator ("dry" hire), that income should be reported as Rent, leasing and hiring income (Q7);
  • Where the business derives income from hiring out equipment with operator ("wet" hire), the income should be reported as Income from services (Q6).
Where to report income from various sources/activities?

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does address some of the common reporting problems encountered by businesses.

Asset sales:
The proceeds from the sale of certain assets should be reported in Disposal of assets (Q32-36). The profit or loss from the sale of any assets should be reported in Other Income (Q11) as a positive or negative value.

Asset revaluation/impairment:
should be reported under Other income (Q11) as either a net gain or loss. Negative revaluations and impairments should not be reported as an expense. This follows the same principles that apply to other examples listed in the survey, such as share trading or sales of assets.

Discounts/Rebates received:
Discount or rebates received by a business from its suppliers should not be reported as income, but should be deducted from the expense item to which the discount or rebate applied, e.g. Purchases (Q17).

Export sales (f.o.b):
Where goods are produced or purchased in Australia for sale overseas, income from Sales of minerals and other goods (Q4) should represent the free-on-board (f.o.b.) price of the goods, i.e. a price which may cover the cost of transporting goods to the Australian customs frontier (point of exit from Australia) only, and not the cost of transporting the goods outside Australia. (Note the exclusion of Export freight charges from the concept of Sales of minerals and other goods)

Progress payments billed on long term contracts:
Where a business has entered into a long term contract to supply goods or services, and recognises expenses and progress payments in its accounts, the progress payments should be reported as sales of goods or income from services, depending on the nature of the contract.
EXPENSE ITEMS

How should I report Labour costs?
How should I report Purchases?
How should I report expenditure on electricity, fuels and water?
What is the difference between 'on-road' and 'off-road' vehicles?
How should I report payments to contractors and other businesses for service?
How should I report repair and maintenance costs?
Where do I report my specific expense item?


How should I report Labour costs?

Payments made to another (related or unrelated) business for the supply of staff on a fee or contract basis, where the staff entitlements are paid by the business supplying the employees, should be recorded in Labour Costs question part (e) Payments to employment agencies for staff (Q13e). Payment to another business for recruitment services (i.e. advertising vacancies, conducting interviews) on behalf of your business should also be included in Payments to employment agencies for staff (Q13e). However, any costs incurred by your business in the conduct of its own recruitment processes (e.g. payment directly to newspapers for running job vacancy advertisements) should be reported in Other operating expenses (Q26).

Labour costs
(Q13) exclude payments to contractors or sub-contractors operating under their own ABN. Information on payments to contractors can be found under How should I report payments to contractors and other businesses for services?

Only include Employer contributions paid into superannuation in Q13a. This does not include personal superannuation contributions for business owners not drawing a wage.

Payroll tax
(Q12d) is levied by State/Territory governments on businesses with large payrolls (usually greater than $0.5 million). It does not refer to income tax withholding for employees.

Wages and salaries including provisions for employee entitlements
(Q13f) - gross (i.e. before tax) wages and salaries should be reported.
Capitalised wages and salaries (i.e. wages and salaries for work relating to the creation of capital assets) should not be included in Labour costs but instead at Capitalised wages and salaries (Q37a).

How should I report Purchases?

If a commodity is purchased to be used or consumed in the production of goods or services (including office consumables), or for repairs and maintenance of equipment, its cost should be reported as Purchases of materials, components, explosives, containers, packaging materials, electricity , fuels and water (include minerals purchased for further processing) (Q17a). If the same commodity is purchased simply to be onsold in the same form (without transformation), its cost should be reported as Purchases of minerals and other goods for resale (without any further processing or assembly) (Q17b). For example, where a business buys coal from a mining business and on sells it (without processing) to an overseas buyer, the coal purchased should be reported as Purchases of minerals and other goods for resale (Q17b).

Note: In the context of selling minerals and other goods, Purchases (expenses) are not the same as cost of goods sold. Purchases represent the amount actually expended by the business in the reporting period. Cost of goods sold, which is not collected in this survey, represents the amount expended only on goods actually sold in the reporting period. (Cost of goods sold is equal to purchases plus opening inventories minus closing inventories).

Capitalised purchases of materials i.e. purchases made to create capital assets, Should NOT be reported at Q17. Instead, they should be reported in Capitalised expenditure including cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q37) and Capitalised wages and salaries (Q37a) and Other capitalised costs (Q37b).

How should I report expenditure on electricity, fuels and water?

Reporting of expenditure on electricity, fuels and water depends on how the electricity, fuels and water are used by the business, as shown in the following examples.
1. Petroleum and diesel fuel purchased for on selling at the bowser (i.e. without further processing) - report as Purchases of minerals and other goods for resale (Q17b).
2. Petroleum and diesel fuel purchased for use in own on-road transport vehicles - report as Motor vehicle running expenses (Q21).
3. Fuel purchased for off-road vehicles and mobile plant (e.g. excavators, fork-lifts, rail locomotives, offshore drilling vessels) - include in Purchases of materials, components, explosives, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (include minerals purchased for further processing) (Q17a)
4. Water rates paid - include in Purchases of materials, components, explosives, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (include minerals purchased for further processing) (Q17a).
5. Electricity bills for powering office, plant, etc - include in Purchases of materials, components, explosives, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water...(Q17a).

What is the difference between 'on-road' and 'off-road' vehicles?

These terms are used variously in questions relating to Purchases (Q17), Motor vehicle running expenses (Q20) and Repair and maintenance expenses (Q23).

In this context, an 'on-road' vehicle is one which satisfies all three of the following criteria:
  • is powered;
  • is registered for public road use; and
  • is designed primarily for road transport purposes.
Any vehicle failing to satisfy all of the above criteria is considered an 'off-road' vehicle. Any expenses associated with 'off-road' vehicles are not to be included in Motor vehicle running expenses.
How should I report payments to contractors and other businesses for services?

There are specific questions for:
  • Payments made to contractors and other businesses for freight, cartage, delivery and transport services (Q18) and
  • Other contract, sub-contract and commission expenses (Q24).
All payments to other businesses for non-transport-related services provided (other than on a commission, contract or sub-contract basis) should be reported in Other operating expenses (Q26).

The following examples show how some commonly incurred expenses should be reported.
1. Postage costs - include in Payments made to contractors and other businesses for freight, cartage, delivery and transport services (Q18).
2. Payments made to owner-drivers to transport goods sold by your business to customers - include in Outward freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q18a).
3. Payments made to a port operator to load goods sold by your business on a ship for export - include in Outward freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q18a).
4. Payments made for the movements of goods between different locations of this business/organisation by a third party - include in Internal freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q18b).
5. Payment made to a courier for pick-up of goods and delivery to your office - include in Other freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q18c).
6. Payment of separately invoiced delivery charges to a supplier of goods - include in Other freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q18c)
7. Payment of commission to another business for selling goods owned by your business - report as Sales commission expenses (Q25a).
8. Payment to a construction business to build living quarters at a mine site - include in Other contract, sub-contract and commission expenses (Q25d).
9. Travel and accommodation expenses for your employees - include in Other operating expenses (Q26).


How should I report repair and maintenance costs?

This depends on what is repaired or maintained and whether or not repairs and maintenance are performed "in house".

If the cost refers to repair and maintenance of on-road transport vehicles operated by your business, it should be included in Motor vehicle running expenses (Q20).

If the cost refers to repair and maintenance of off-road vehicles, plant or equipment (e.g. machinery, mobile plant, communications equipment, building maintenance), it should be reported as Repair and maintenance expenses (Q23).

In either case, any wages paid to employees of the business for repairs and maintenance work performed by them should not be included in either of the above two items: include the wages for that work in Labour Costs (Q13). How should I report exploration and evaluation expense as incurred (Q25)?

Exploration and evaluation expense as incurred refers to the amount that the business expenses in the search for mineral occurrences and/or appraisal intended to delineate or extend the limits of known deposits.

Many businesses may refer to this as exploration and evaluation immediately expensed through the 'profit and loss' statement.

This amount should not include previously capitalised exploration expenditure which has been written off due to failed or lack of further discovery of mineral deposits.

NB: Previously capitalised exploration expenditure which has now been written off should not be reported anywhere on the Economic Activity Survey.


Where do I report my specific expense item?

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does address some of the common reporting problems encountered by businesses.

Consumables:
Consumables such as stationery, staff amenity supplies, cleaning materials etc. should be reported as Purchases of materials, components, explosives, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (include minerals purchased for further processing) (Q17a)

Discounts/Rebates given:
Discounts or rebates given by your business to its customers should not be reported as an expense item, but should be netted off the income item to which the discount/rebate applied, e.g. Sales of minerals and other goods (Q4) or Income from services (Q6).

Equipment hire:
Reporting of this type of expense depends on whether the hire is "wet" or "dry" (i.e. with or without operator). A simple illustration of the distinction is:
  • if the business has paid for the hire of earthmoving equipment to be operated by its own employees ("dry hire"),the expense should be included in Rent, leasing and hiring expenses (Q19); but
  • if the business has paid another business for contracted earthmoving services, i.e. equipment with operator ("wet hire"), the expense should be included in Other contract, subcontract and commission expenses (Q24 c or d).

Finance lease payments:
When an asset, e.g. company car, is acquired under a finance lease arrangement, the value of the acquisition should be included in Capital expenditure (Q22-36).
If any work is undertaken by own employees of this business to install any asset acquired under a financial lease to make it operational please include the cost of this work within Capital expenditure (Q22-36) and Cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q37) (if applicable)

Repayments under a finance lease agreement consist of two components: interest and capital repayments. Capital repayments should not be reported in this survey. The interest component only should be included in Interest expenses (Q14)

Motor vehicle insurance premiums:
  • Compulsory third party insurance premiums, payable as part of the vehicle registration process should be included in Motor vehicle running expenses (Q20).
  • Optional third party insurance premiums, payable at the discretion of the business, should be included in Other operating expenses (Q26).

Sponsorship Payments:
Sponsorship is not considered the same as a donation, as it involves a transaction, usually in the form of advertising or promotional benefits for the individual or business making the payment. It should therefore be reported as Other operating expenses (Q26), whereas donations are excluded altogether.
INVENTORIES

How should I report inventories?


Inventories
(Q31) are divided into three sections; Raw materials, Work-in-progress and Finished goods.

Raw materials
(Q31a) consist of goods that a business holds with the intention of using to produce other goods or in rendering services. For example, iron ore to produce steel (good produced) or raw food to make a restaurant meal (provide a service).

Work-in-progress
(Q31b) consists of goods that still require work to reach the condition they are to be sold in, such as partially assembled machinery. The value of work-in-progress inventories should be reported net of progress payments billed.

Finished goods
(Q31c) consist of goods that are to be sold in their current condition, including goods for resale.

Inventories do not include depreciable assets of the business. These should be reported in capital expenditure and disposal of assets (Q32-36)

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AND DISPOSAL OF ASSETS

How should I report capital expenditure?
What is the cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation?
What are the impacts of the legislation change introduced in the May 2015 Budget for small business owners?


How should I report capital expenditure?

Capital expenditure and disposal of assets (Q32-36)

Capital expenditure refers to the amount spent by a business in the current reporting period on the acquisition of non-current assets. It can be considered the amount spent to purchase or upgrade productive assets like buildings or machinery to increase the business’ capacity or efficiency. If the business hires contractors to carry out capital work, then these contractor payments should be included in the cost of the capital works. It does not include additions to inventories

Additions: represents the expenditure on assets on an accruals basis, further to this you are required to report any Capital Work in Progress (CWIP) values against the relevant asset, as best as you possibly can.

This survey aims to capture the activity and production in the economy as it is happening rather than when the asset is capitalised.

Disposals: Refers to the sale of the asset to another individual or business. It can also include the discarding of an asset. For survey purposes we only require businesses to report the proceeds from sales of the assets.

The examples against each asset are intended to give an indication of the nature of assets a business may have to be placed into each category however it is not an exhaustive list. Further examples for each asset type can be found below.

Land (Q32a): purchases or acquisition of land

Dwellings, other buildings and structures
(Q32b):
- Dwellings: used entirely as residences including structures such as garages, and all permanent fixtures customarily installed in residences

- Other buildings and structures: comprise of non-residential buildings, other structures and land improvements. These may include things such as highways, roads, airfield runways, bridges, tunnels, subways, harbours, dams and other water works, pipelines, communication and power lines, constructions for mining and manufacturing, warehouses and industrial or commercial buildings. Leasehold improvements that alter and improve the structure and value of the building should be included here (this does not include things such as painting and carpet additions but refers more to structural changes).

Road vehicles (Q33a): this category is for vehicles that are primarily to be used on the road such as cars, trucks, motorcycles and utes.

Other transport vehicles and equipment
(Q33b): this category consists of equipment and vehicles for moving people and objects. This may include items such as trailers, semi-trailers, ships, railway and tramway locomotives, rolling stock and aircraft.

Industrial machinery and equipment
(Q33c): whilst some items within this category may be mobile and capable of transporting people or goods, their primary business function is for use in the production of goods and/or services which is why they fall under this category. Additional items that could be included are:

Engines and turbines
Pumps, compressors, hydraulic power engines
Lifting and handling equipment
Machine tools and accessories (Hand tools, tools customarily in a workshop)
Equipment for food, beverage preparation
Point of sale terminals, booking systems
Industrial cooking appliances
Domestic appliances for production purposes
Climate control systems and other equipment used in core production

Electrical machinery and electronic equipment (Q33d): this may include things such as electrical generators and motors, electrical transformers, static converters and inductors, electricity distribution or control apparatus, lighting equipment, electrical ignition or starting equipment, electrical signalling equipment.

Communications equipment
(Q33e): this may include things such as radio broadcast and television receivers, video and digital cameras, microphones, loudspeakers, amplifiers.

Other plant and equipment (Q33f): consists of machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified, this may include items such as office furniture and fencing materials.

Computer hardware (Q34a): this may include things such as, hard drives, monitor screens, mouses, keyboards, printers, scanners, automatic data processing machines, and sound/video and/or network cards.

Computer Software (Q34b): any software that may be installed in the businesses systems that enable it to operate more efficiently such as Microsoft suite, financial systems, software that operates large machinery etc.

Computer software purchased from another business/organisation (Q34(b)(i)): any software that has been purchased from another business to be installed on computers used by your staff to enable them to operate and perform their work.
Computer software developed in house by employees of this business (Q34 (b)(ii)): any software that may have been developed for use by employees of your business.


Intangibles (Q35): This may include items such as trademarks, mastheads, spectrums, company brand, customer bases, licenses, patents and goodwill etc


What is the cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q37)?

This question aims to capture the extra layer of production in the economy that might never be exchanged in the market. Activity reported here is a subset of that reported at Capital expenditure (Q32-36) (and therefore should not exceed it).

Example: if your staff develop a new piece of software that improves the efficiency and the production process of your business but is only used in-house and never sold to another business, then the cost of this production activity needs to be reported under the Cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation question. For survey purposes we want to know the wages and salaries (Q37a) (plus any additional ‘on-costs’ such as Fringe Benefits Tax, workers compensation, superannuation) of employees of your business that contribute to the development, building, construction and/or creation of the asset.

Another example may be an employee who is tasked with project managing the building and construction of an asset. Whilst they aren’t actually involved in the physical build of the asset, their insight and involvement is integral to the completion of the asset and as a result their wages are deemed as ‘capitalised wages’. The other capital costs such as hiring contractors and the materials purchased to build the asset would be deemed as ‘other capitalised costs’.

‘Other capitalised costs’ (Q37b) may include both capitalised services and capitalised goods used as inputs to assist in the building and development of the asset. For example if an upgrade or improvement to an existing building or infrastructure such as a road was project managed in-house then the cost of any goods or materials used and/or contractors undertaking the work would need to be reported in Other capitalised costs with the wages of the employees project managing reported under Capitalised wages and salaries.




What are the impacts of the legislation change introduced in the May 2015 Budget for small business owners?

In the May 2015 Budget, the Federal Treasurer announced a new incentive for Small Business owners to immediately write off assets costing less than $20,000.

The ABS expect small business owners to continue reporting these eligible capital asset purchases under capital expenditure, with the relevant write off amount reflected in Depreciation/amortisation expense.



MULTI-STATE OPERATIONS

How do I report income from sales of goods and services by state (Q39)

Income from sales of goods and services should align with amounts reported in Questions 4-8. It should be reported against the state or territory where the sale was made or the service was provided. For export sales, report against the state or territory from which the sale was made.



CHECKLIST

The purpose of this checklist is to assist you, if you wish, to check the information which you have supplied in the survey before submitting it to ABS. Use of the checklist may reduce the need for us to contact you with further enquiries. The points covered reflect some of the most common reporting errors.

Employment (Q3)
  • Are the reported numbers a headcount of persons working for the business? (Should not be FTE.)
  • Have you reported only those who worked for the business in the last pay period ending in June 2015?
  • Working proprietors and partners (Q3a) should only be reported for an unincorporated business, not if the business is incorporated (e.g. Pty Ltd).
  • If the business had offices/locations with staff in more than one state or territory, does the total for Australia (Q37) equal Total number of persons in Q3(d)?

Financial information
  • Are all reported financial items reported in $'000s (thousands)? For example, if business income for the year were $123,456, it should be reported as 123 on the survey.
  • Have the nature and amount of the main components of 'Other...' items been provided in Q11 (Other income), Q24d (Other contract, sub-contract and commission expenses) and Q26 (Other operating expenses)
  • If income from sales of minerals and other goods produced by the business has been reported (in Q4a), have associated purchases been reported correctly, i.e. as Purchases of materials, components, explosives, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water(include minerals purchased for further processing) (Q17a)?
  • If income from sales of minerals and other goods not produced by the business has been reported (in Q4b), have associated purchases been reported correctly, i.e. as Purchases of minerals and other goods for resale (Q17b)?
  • Have the values of both opening and closing inventories reported in Q31, where applicable?
  • If cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q37) is reported, the value must be less than or equal to the sum of Capital expenditure items reported in Q32-37.

Other information
  • Have you provided comments on any unusual movements regarding the information you have supplied. By taking the opportunity to do this you will enhance the value of the data you supply as well as minimising the chance of ABS staff being required to call you directly for clarification.
  • Have you provided an estimate of the time taken to complete this survey? (Please note that we use the time taken information to help us to design effective surveys while minimising the burden on our providers.)
Return to Economic Activity Survey - Help Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2015

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.