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Meters drilled for mineral exploration is up

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released Australia’s mineral exploration statistics for the September 2018 quarter. Compared to the previous quarter, the metres drilled for mineral exploration rose 6.0%, with greenfields exploration rising 7.2%, and brownfields 5.8%.

Total Australian mineral exploration expenditure rose 2.5% ($14.3m) to $582.1m in the September 2018 quarter.

Nationally greenfield’s mineral exploration expenditure was up 13.0% ($25.7m) but expenditure on brownfields exploration expenditure fell by 2.0% (-$7.5m).

Mineral exploration expenditure fell in New South Wales by 21%, by 8.6% in Victoria and 17% in Tasmania, but rose in Queensland by 21%, 7.6% in SA and 3% in WA. 

“Mineral exploration is the lifeblood of the mining industry, greater exploration will lead to longer mine lives and future mines,” says Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) Warren Pearce. 

“The rise in exploration in Queensland and Western Australia lifted national mineral exploration but masked falls in New South Wales and Victoria.” 

“Most mineral exploration expenditure was spent pursuing gold, which was up 8.5% ($18.8m) compared to the June 2018 quarter, and unsurprisingly over 60% of Australia’s mineral exploration occurred in Western Australia.”

“The September quarter also saw a record $174m spend on gold exploration in Western Australia, 48% of the State’s mineral exploration was spent on gold.”

“The significant disproportion between greenfields and brownfields exploration remains, with 62% of drilling in already explored brownfield locations.  In the long term, this imbalance must be addressed if Australia is to find the future mines needed to sustain our industry.”

“The Federal Government’s Junior Mineral Exploration Incentive (JMEI) which was oversubscribed in June is beginning to redress that disparity by attracting the much needed equity capital to increase greenfields mineral exploration.”

“Each mine starts with mineral exploration, and the growth seen in this quarter will mean more jobs, and more mines in the future,” said Mr Pearce. 

Link to ABS mineral exploration statistics

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