Table 2: Ore Reserves

TABLE 2. Australia's Estimated Ore Reserves as at December 2016

This table provides a generally short-term, commercial view of Australia's economic mineral inventory as reported in compliance with the JORC Code1 by Competent Persons2. Reserves may be reported for operating mines, mines on care and maintenance, mines under development and some undeveloped deposits. For further information, Table 1 provides a more immediate view of mineral stocks at operating mines and Table 3 provides a long-term view of potential supply. For a global outlook on Australia's production and resources see Table 4 (World Rankings).

CommodityUnitOre ReserveMine Production 2016(3)
Antimony kt Sb 655.5 (*)
Bauxite Mt 231982.152
Black Coal (recoverable)Mt 19 800566.3 (*)
Brown Coal (recoverable)Mt n.a.63.3 (*)
Chromium kt Cr00
Cobalt kt Co386 (*)
Copper Mt Cu24.00.948
Flourinekt F00
Gold t Au 3826288
Iron Ore Mt23 532858
Contained Fe Mt10 470531
LeadMt Pb11.520.45
Lithiumkt Li1361 14 (*)
Magnesite Mt MgCO3 37.5 (*)
Manganese Ore Mt 110.2 3.2 (*)
Mineral Sands
IImeniteMt 56.51.4
RutileMt 6.70.3
Zircon Mt 20.00.6
Molybdenumkt Mo3.60
NickelMt Ni6.00.204
Niobiumkt Nb1160
Oil ShaleGL00
PGE (Pt, Pd, Os, Ir, Ru, Rh)t metal0 (*)
Phosphate rock (*)Mt289 (*)
contained P2O5 Mt51 
Potash Mt K2O00
Rare Earths (REO & Y2O3)Mt2.10.014 (*)
Silverkt Ag25.741.418
Tantalumkt Ta36.7 (*)
Thoriumkt Th00
Tinkt Sn2586.635
Tungstenkt W215.80.11 (*)
Uraniumkt U3296.314
Vanadiumkt V13410
ZincMt Zn 24.260.884


t = tonne; kt = kilotonnes (1000 t); Mt = million tonnes (1 000 000 t); Mc = million carats (1 000 000 carats); GL = gigalitre (1 000 000 000 L); n.a. = not available. Where an element symbol follows the unit it refers to contained metal content.

1. Ore Reserves predominantly comprise Proved and Probable Ore Reserves that have been publically reported in compliance with the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) Code to the Australian Securities Exchange. Some Ore Reserves have been reported using other reporting codes to foreign stock exchanges but are included when regarded as equivalent to the JORC Code. In addition, Geoscience Australia may hold confidential data for some commodities.
2.  A Competent Person, as defined by the JORC Code, is a suitably qualified and experienced person who is subject to an enforceable professional code of ethics (i.e., is a Member or Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, or of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, or of a 'Recognised Professional Organisation'). A Competent Person must have a minimum of five years relevant experience in the style of mineralisation or type of deposit under consideration and in the activity which that person is undertaking.
3.  Source: Resources and Energy Quarterly, June 2017 published by the Office of the Chief Economist, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science unless otherwise stated.


Antimony Mine production (Costerfield operation) reported by Mandalay Resources Corp  to Toronto Stock Exchange 23 February 2017.
Black coal Mine production refers to raw coal.
Brown coal Brown Coal: Mine production is a Geoscience Australia estimation.
CobaltThe Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (Statistics Digest 2015-16) reported 5.47 kt of production in 2015-16.
LithiumMine production is not reported for the Greenbushes Mine. Production figures are based on reported production of concentrates for Greenbushes (Lithium: investment opportunities, Western Australia. Commodity Summary, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 2016), and ASX reported tonnages of concentrates for Mount Marion and Mount Catlin. Concentrates are assumed to contain 6% Li2O.
Magnesite The Department of State Development, South Australia (Report Book 2017/00014) reported magnesite production of 6554 t in 2016. The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (Annual mineral and metal statistics) reported magnesite production of 462 901 t in 2015-16.
ManganeseProduction figures from South32 Ltd (Annual Report 2016).
PGE The Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum (Statistics Digest 2015-16) reported 687 kg of platinum and palladium by-product was produced during 2015-16.
Phosphate Phosphate rock is reported as being economic at grades ranging from 8.7% to 30.2% P2O5. Christmas Island mined 508 201 t in 2016. The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (Annual mineral and metal statistics) reported phosphate production of 1 034 957 t in 2015-16. Minor production (1972 t) was recorded in South Australia (Report Book 2017/00014).
Rare Earths Mount Weld in Western Australia supplies rare earth mineral concentrates to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia. Lynas Corporation Ltd (Quarterly Reports to the ASX) reported that LAMP produced 13 872 t of ready-for-sale rare earth oxides.
TantalumThe Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (Statistics Digest 2015-16) reported tantalite production of 183 t in 2015-16.
Tungsten Mine production estimated at approximately 108 t, based on figures released by Tasmania Mines Ltd for the Kara operation (Quarterly Reports to the ASX) and by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland for 2015-16 (Annual mineral and metal statistics).