The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released Mineral & Petroleum Exploration data, which revealed a slight easing in exploration expenditure after last release’s record.
Nationally, expenditure on minerals exploration fell -$76.7 million in the June half, with petroleum exploration expenditure also falling by -$157.7 million (see below chart).
Expected mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure rose over the month, up by 1% and 20% respectively for the December 2012 half (see below chart).
Iron ore continues to dominate minerals exploration expenditure, rising by 25% over the June quarter and accounting for 32% of total expenditure (see below chart).
Western Australia continues to dominate mineral exploration expenditure, accounting for just over half of the nation’s exploration expenditure ($581 million) in the June quarter, although it declined by -$9.3 million or -1.6% over the quarter (see below chart).
Western Australia is also dominating petroleum exploration expenditure, accounting for two-thirds of national exploration expenditure in June 2012, with total petroleum expenditure rising by $328 million since the March quarter of 2012 (see below chart).
The ABS mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure data obviously pre-dates the recent collapse of iron ore prices, which is likely to result in the winding-down of exploration expenditure going forward.