Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics present a mixed outlook for Australian mining.
In the September quarter 2016, the trend estimate for mineral exploration expenditure (excluding petroleum) increased slightly by 0.6% ($2.1 million) to $349.2 million.
The figures suggest that the downward spiral of falling expenditure in mineral exploration, which followed record quarterly investment of almost $1 billion in 2012, is now stabilising at around $350 million.
However, exploration activity for petroleum is still falling, after quarterly investment had reached a peak of around $1.6 billion in the second half of 2014. According to the ABS trend estimate, Australia's quaterly expenditure in petroleum exploration is now down to $324 million, after it again fell by 6.9% or $23.9 million in the September quarter 2016.