The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released Mineral & Petroleum Exploration data nd it’s boom boom time in the resources sector!
Nationally, expenditure on minerals exploration hit an all-time high of $2,016 million in the December half, with petroleum exploration expenditure also rising to $1,677 million; although it remains well below the peak expenditure of $2,016m recorded in June 2009 (see below chart).
Expected mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure has also risen, up 4.6% and 5.9% respectively in the March quarter (see below chart).
Despite falling in the latest quarter, iron ore is dominating minerals exploration expenditure, accounting for 30% of total expenditure in March. Iron ore expenditure has also grown at by far the fastest rate since the China-induced commodity boom commenced in 2004 (see below charts).
Not surprisingly, Western Australia is dominating mineral exploration expenditure, accounting for just over half of the nation’s exploration expenditure ($597 million) in the March quarter, an increase of $96 million or 19% on the December quarter of 2011 (see below chart).
Western Australia is also dominating petroleum exploration expenditure, accounting for two-thirds of national exploration expenditure in March 2012, although total petroleum expenditure has fallen by -$301 million since the December quarter of 2011 (see below chart).
Overall, the ABS mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure data further highlights the extent of the mining boom in Western Australia, and the underlying strength of the Western Australian economy. Go west young men (and women), go west…