Table 1: Operating Mines

Table 1. Australia's Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources of selected commodities at operating mines in 2017

This table provides short-term (Ore Reserves) and long-term (Mineral Resources) views of Australia's minerals inventory at operating mines. For further information about Australia's minerals inventory see Table 2 (Australia's Ore Reserves) and Table 3 (Australia's Identified Mineral Resources and World Figures). See Table 5 (World Rankings) for a global outlook on Australia's production and resources and see Table 6 (Reserve and Resource Life) for an indication of Australia's potential to continue supplying minerals.

CommodityUnit No. of Operating Mines1 Ore Reserves2 Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources3 Inferred Mineral Resources4 Mine Production5 Reserve Life (years) Resource Life 1 (years) Resource Life 2 (years)
Antimony kt Sb 1 17.1 36.5 4.2 4.616 4 8 9
Bauxite Mt 7 813 2184 2533 87.9 9 25 54
Black Coal Mt 91 12 713 28 2427 11 8427 5598 23 51 72
Copper Mt Cu 35 20.08 70.65 30.01 0.860 23 82 117
Diamond Mc 2 39.01 39.14 3.82 17.14 2 2 3
Gold t Au 128 2903 6702 1949 292 10 23 30
Iron Ore Mt 33 9424 17 470 31 739 883 11 20 56
Lead Mt Pb 12 9.95 30.47 6.25 0.459 22 66 80
Lithium kt Li 4 1003 1437 1161 21.39 47 67 122
Manganese Ore Mt 3 102 195 34 5.610 18 35 41
Mineral Sands
Ilmenite Mt 10 16.1 57.8 13.5 1.511 11 39 48
Rutile Mt 8 2.2 8.0 2.1 0.311 7 27 34
Zircon Mt 9 4.7 14.1 3.0 0.511 9 28 34
Nickel Mt Ni 10 1.81 5.11 1.13 0.179 10 29 35
Rare Earths12 Mt 1 1.02 1.51 0.59 0.01713 60 89 124
Silver kt Ag 2114 19.25 66.20 17.30 1.120 17 59 75
Tin kt Sn 1 171 215 90 7.415 24 30 43
Uranium kt U 3 271 1518 822 5.344 51 284 438
Zinc Mt Zn 12 18.54 47.15 11.75 0.841 22 56 70

Abbreviations
t = tonne; kt = kilotonnes (1000 t); Mt = million tonnes (1 000 000 t); Mc = million carats (1 000 000 carats).
Where an element symbol follows the unit it refers to contained metal content.

Notes
Reserve Life = Ore Reserves ÷ Production.
Resource Life 1 = Measured and Indicated Resources ÷ Production.
Resource Life 2 = Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources ÷ Production.

1. The number of operating mines counts individual mines that operated during 2017 and thus contributed to production. Some of these mines may belong to larger, multi-mine operations and some may have closed during or since 2017.

2. The majority of Australian Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources are reported in compliance with the JORC Code, however there are a number of companies that report to foreign stock exchanges using other reporting codes, which are largely equivalent. In addition, Geoscience Australia may hold confidential information for some commodities. NB: Not all operating mines report Ore Reserves. Ore Reserves are as at 31 December 2017.

3. Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources are inclusive of the Ore Reserves. NB: Not all operating mines report Mineral Resources. Mineral Resources are as at 31 December 2017.

4. Inferred Mineral Resources are as at 31 December 2017. NB: Not all operating mines report Mineral Resources.

5. Source: Resources and Energy Quarterly, June 2018, published by the Office of the Chief Economist, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science unless otherwise stated. Production data often have a higher level of certainty than reserve and resource estimates and, thus, may be presented with more significant figures.

6. Antimony production from company reports.

7. Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources for black coal are presented on a recoverable basis (these are Geoscience Australia estimates unless provided by the company).

8. Mine production refers to raw coal.

9. Lithium production is a Geoscience Australia estimate based on Mineral and Petroleum Statistics Digest 2016–17, published by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Western Australian Government.

10. Manganese production from company reports. Minimum estimate as Woodie Woodie production unknown.

11. Mineral sands production from company reports.

12. Rare earths comprise rare earth oxides (REO) and yttrium oxide (Y2O3).

13. Rare earths production from company reports.

14. Major silver producing mines only; many gold and copper mines also produce silver as a by-product but these are not counted here.

15. The Office of the Chief Economist report tin production of 7.4 kt in 2017, however the sole operating mine (Renison Bell) reports 7.1 kt. The remainder is by-product from other operations such as Greenbushes.