Iron ore exploration expenditure explodes

By Leith van Onselen

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.

Twitter: Leith van Onselen. Leith is the Chief Economist of Macro Investor, Australia’s independent investment newsletter covering trades, stocks, property and yield. Click for a free 21 day trial.

Leith van Onselen


    • +1

      Also hearing about high grade finds of iron ore all over the world.

      I think the Iron Gravy Train may be nearing the end of the line…

      • It’s not bewildering at all. There are large imbalances in the Australian economy and the government has had a big hand in the determination of who wins and who loses. Some of us have had to put our lives on hold for years for this nonsense to run it’s course.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Yes, incredibly delicious.

      If the AUD reverts to its usual relatonship with iron ore prices, then all those involved in mining and related services will be able to go and get some very tasty jobs in the manufacturing and services sector indeed…….

      • Don’t worry mate, I’ll be here (resources) long term – because that is the nature of resources.

        It’s a good life. 🙂

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Me too. What other job lets me spend six weeks a year in Europe? Greetings from Budapest.

          Maybe the downturn will let those who enjoy the job and want to see it last forever settle in. No more fly-by-nighters who are there to pay off the McMansion and buy a fully sick jetski. A few less neck tattoos would be nice too.

  1. I’m not making excuses for anyone and I don’t think that he needs to apologize. This is akin to the “Bears are Un-Australian” meme. The mining boom has enabled madness in the government. Good riddance to it.

    • It is in fact vastly different. It is the
      ‘pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others’. ‘Delicious’, was the word used.

      It is a willing, a wishing, a delight in. Vastly different.

      • First point: You have demonstrated no sympathy whatsoever for those in the slow lane of the economy who have suffered during the mining boom.

        Second: You have consistently highlighted and promoted the benefits of a strong Australian dollar, and never the downsides

        Third: After the mindboggling greed your industry displayed during the 2010 anti-RSPT campaign you get everything you deserve.