So this is what a resources boom looks like…

Graph of mineral exploration expenditure

This graph (right) shows the massive rise in spending on minerals exploration in Australia over the last 8 years.

The graph comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics report 8412.0 – Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Jun 2007 released yesterday — although this specific graph doesn’t include petroleum.

They say:

The trend estimate for total mineral exploration expenditure increased by $22.3m (5.0%) to $470.8m in the June quarter 2007. The estimate is now 37.4% higher than the June quarter 2006 estimate.

The largest contributions to the increase this quarter were in Western Australia (up $17.1m or 7.8%) and South Australia (up $7.2m or 9.8%). New South Wales showed the largest decrease of $1.7m or 4.7%.

I suppose I should say something about this being an indicator of where all the money’s been coming from lately. But we all know this already, don’t we?

25% Irrigated

Irrigated farms generate a quarter of Australia’s agricultural production, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The gross value of irrigated production was $9 billion in 2003-04. Irrigated horticulture made up 52% of that, followed by irrigated pastures (24%) and irrigated broadacre crops (24%).

So what happens when global warming dries out the canals? $12/kg bananas will be remembered as the good times, and forget cheap wines from Mudgee.