Table 3: Mineral Resources
TABLE 3. Australia's Identified Mineral Resources as at December 2016
This table provides a long-term view of Australia's mineral inventory. The economic category, as defined in the National Classification System, provides a long-term view of what is likely to be available for mining. For shorter term, commercial viewpoints of the economic category see Table 1 (Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources at Operating Mines) and Table 2 (Australia's Ore Reserves). For a global outlook on Australia's production and resources see Table 4 (World Rankings).
|Demonstrated Resources||Inferred |
|Economic (EDR) (1)||Subeconomic|
|Bauxite||Mt||6005||144 ||1429||1942||6005||82.152||28 000||271.5(*)|
|in situ||Mt||85 753||1370||4421||104 151|
|recoverable||Mt||70 927||1018||3815||81 864||64 045||566.3(*)||712 000(*)||7795(*)|
|in situ||Mt||92 887||44 069||234 987||124 326|
|recoverable||Mt||76 508||41 112||215 449||103 579||66 439||63.3(*)||317 000(*)||783.3(*)|
|Chromium||kt Cr||0||302||0||6786||0||0||500 000(*)||30 400(*)|
|Fluorine||kt F||343||505||6||2301||343||0||126 000||3100(*)|
|Gold||t Au||9830||213||67||4389||9800||288||57 000||3255(*)|
|Iron ore||Mt||49 588||10 939||1433||90 123||49 588||858||173 769||2230|
||23 771||3672||480||40 342||23 771||531||82 986|
|Lithium||kt Li||2730||0||0||966||2730||14(*)||15 130||34.7(*)|
|Molybdenum||kt Mo||210||1220||0.5||614||210||0||15 133||227|
|Oil shale||GL||0||213||2074||1472||0||0||760 934(*)||n.a.|
|PGE (Pt, Pd, Os, Ir, Ru, Rh)||t metal||5.3||140.4||1.4||168.6||2.6||(*)||67 000||380|
|Phosphate rock||Mt||1072||312||0||2461||1072||(*)||68 000||261|
|Rare earths (REO & Y2O3)||Mt||3.43||0.35||29.22||25.81||3.43||0.014(*)||120||0.126|
|Vanadium||kt V||2111||14 677||1376||17 002||2111||0||19 000||76|
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.*
|Antimony||Mine production (Costerfield operation) reported by Mandalay Resources Corp to Toronto Stock Exchange 23 February 2017.|
|Bauxite||World bauxite production sourced from the OCE (Resources and Energy Quarterly, June 2017).|
|Black coal||Australian mine production refers to raw coal. World economic resources dated 2015, sourced from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany (Energy Study 2016). World mine production sourced from the OCE (Resources and Energy Quarterly, June 2017).|
|Brown coal||Australian mine production is a Geoscience Australia estimation. World mine production sourced from International Energy Agency (Coal Information 2017 Overview). World economic resources dated 2015, sourced from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany (Energy Study 2016).|
|Chromium||World resources and mine production presented as chromite ore.|
|Cobalt||The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (Statistics Digest 2015-16) reported 5.47 kt of production in 2015-16.|
|Diamond||World resource figures are for industrial diamonds only, no data provided for resources of gem diamonds.|
|Fluorine||World mine production excludes the USA.|
|Gold||World mine production sourced from the OCE (Resources and Energy Quarterly, June 2017).|
|Lithium||Australian mine 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. World mine production excludes the USA.|
|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. World mine production excludes the USA.|
|Manganese||Production figures from South32 Ltd (Annual Report 2016).|
|Oil Shale||World resources from World Energy Council (Survey of Energy Resources 2013).|
|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.|
|Tantalum||The 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).|
|Uranium||World economic resources sourced from the International Atomic Energy Agency estimate for Reasonable Assured Resources (RAR) recoverable at costs of less than US$130/kg U and Geoscience Australia. World production sourced from the OCE (Resources and Energy Quarterly, June 2017).|
Terminology and Definitions - National Classification System
The National Classification System for Identified Mineral Resources has been used by the Australian Government since 1976 for classifying mineral resources for regional and national assessments. In brief, it uses the following terminology and definitions.
Resource: A concentration of naturally occurring solid, liquid, or gaseous materials in or on the Earth’s crust and in such form that its economic extraction is presently or potentially (within a 20-25 year timeframe) feasible.
Identified Resource: A specific body of mineral-bearing material whose location, quantity and quality are known from specific measurements or estimates from geological evidence for which economic extraction is presently or potentially (within a 20-25 year timeframe) feasible.
To reflect degrees of geological assurance, Identified Resources can be divided into Measured Resources, Indicated Resources and Inferred Resources where Measured Resources have the most geological confidence and Inferred Resources the least.
With the application of modifying factors and mine planning, Measured Resources can be converted into Proved Ore Reserves or Probable Ore Reserves and Identified Resources can be converted into Probable Ore Reserves.
Demonstrated Resource:A collective term for the sum of Measured and Indicated Resources, including Proved and Probable Ore Reserves.
Economic: This term implies that, at the time of determination, profitable extraction or production under defined investment assumptions has been established, analytically demonstrated, or assumed with reasonable certainty.
Economic Demonstrated Resource (EDR): A Demonstrated Resource that is regarded as economic under the definition above. The EDR category provides a long-term view of what is likely to be available for mining (potential supply). It does not include Inferred Resources which do not have enough geological confidence to support mine planning.
Subeconomic: This term refers to those resources that are geologically demonstrated but which do not meet the criteria of economic at the time of determination. Subeconomic Resources include paramarginal and submarginal categories:
- Paramarginal: That part of Subeconomic Resources which, at the time of determination, could be produced given postulated limited increases in commodity prices or cost-reducing advances in technology. The main characteristics of this category are economic uncertainty and/or failure (albeit just) to meet the criteria of economic.
- Submarginal: That part of Subeconomic Resources that would require a substantially higher commodity price or major cost-reducing advance in technology to render them economic.
Accessible Economic Demonstrated Resource (AEDR): Some resources have enough geological confidence to be considered a demonstrated resource and, in normal circumstances, would also be regarded as economic but they are not currently available for development because of legal and/or land-use restrictions. They are included in EDR but not in AEDR.