RMIT University
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A Comprehensive Dataset for Australian Mine Production, 1799 to 2021

Version 2 2023-05-30, 04:28
Version 1 2023-05-09, 01:44
posted on 2023-05-30, 04:28 authored by Gavin Mudd

Given that metals, minerals and energy resources extracted through mining are fundamental to human society, it follows that accurate data describing mine production are equally important. Although there are often national statistical sources, this typically includes data for metals (e.g., gold), minerals (e.g., iron ore) or energy resources (e.g., coal). No such study has ever compiled a national mine production data set which includes basic mining data such as ore processed, grades, extracted products (e.g., metals, concentrates, saleable ore) and waste rock. These data are crucial for geological assessments of mineable resources, environmental impacts, material flows (including losses during mining, smelting-refining, use and disposal or recycling) as well as facilitating more quantitative assessments of critical mineral potential (including possible extraction from tailings and/or waste rock left by mining). This data set achieves these needs for Australia, providing a world-first and comprehensive review of a national mining industry and an exemplar of what can be achieved for other countries with mining industry sectors. 


The research which has built this data has evolved and continued for over 20 years. Most of this time it has been the author’s sole efforts but at times the research has enjoyed funding support from CSIRO Mineral Resources and more recently Geoscience Australia. All people, organisations and companies who have helped chase down data are duly acknowledged and thanked – such sharing of data is important to ensure an accurate account of Australian mine production, especially for individual mine sites. The current motivation for this data was to support the launch of Geoscience Australia’s National Atlas of Mine Waste project (which can be found online).