Mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure falls

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By Leith van Onselen

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released Mineral & Petroleum Exploration data for the September quarter, which revealed a modest fall mineral exploration expenditure and a sharper decline in petroleum exploration expenditure.

Nationally, expenditure on minerals exploration fell by a seasonally-adjusted $6.3 million (-1%) over September quarter. Falls were recorded everywhere, except Western Australia, where exploration expenditure rose by $28.4 million (7.9%) over the quarter:

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While the ABS recorded a small seasonally-adjusted fall in overall minerals exploration expenditure over the quarter, the various components, presented in non-seasonally adjusted raw terms, fell by a larger amount, down by $26.2 million or 3.9%. In particular, selected base metals exploration expenditure fell by $19.2 million (-15.4%) over the quarter, whereas gold exploration expenditure decreased by $17.8 million (-11.9%) and coal exploration fell by $10.1 million (-8.4%). By contrast, iron exploration rose by $18.0 million (+8.8%) and all others increased by $2.9 million (+4.4%):

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Petroleum exploration expenditure also fell by a seasonally-adjusted 119.5 million (-9.5%) to $1141 million in the September quarter, with Western Australia accounting for 69% of total expenditure (see next chart).

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  1. My congratulations to all who have forecast the mining capex slowdown over the past year.

    I often write critical comments against articles and other comments, so I take this opportunity to compliment those who drew our attention to the real size of the mining investment boom and the likely time frame of it becoming a drag on GDP.

    I still have questions about the size, timing and location of employment impacts, including on imported labour, and on the contribution of imported capital goods to the capex, but the forecasts of the slowdown have been very good.

    My compliments again!

  2. Cross posted from Iron Ore (restock) HnH I’m with you on the legalities of allowing this iron shipment from CITIC, but the West Australian Govt (and the Federal Govt) has slipped from hanging on the ropes to now being flat out on the canvas as revenue for the continuance of Govt, from mining, evaporates.
    Consider this; Australia is the second largest gold producer, after China. Gold was no 3 or 4 on our commodity exports list and was worth about $14 billion per year, nationally, and was a major contributor to the income of the WA Govt.
    Further, gold mining companies spend Australia’s second largest amount of funds on exploration expenditure, particularly in WA.
    With the retreat of the price of gold to say $1250, nearly every gold mining outfit in this land is not making a profit, and that revenue to the Govt has stalled. Nationally you cant take a contributor such as the gold industry once was out the equation and not have a funding crisis.
    An old saying, if your outgoing exceeds your income, your up keep becomes your downfall.
    My Christian name sake, Mr Coyote often demonstrates a remarkable recovery from his downfalls, but I think this nation is just starting to get the perspective of falling clearly in focus and any recovery is eons away. WW