Mineral Exploration rises show industry serious about Greenfields exploration   

2 September

The Australian Bureau of Statistics published the Mineral and Petroleum June 2019 Quarterly Statistics today (link here), total mineral exploration expenditure increased 5.2% ($31.3m) to $629.6m in the quarter.

The current quarter estimate is 16.5% higher than the June quarter 2018 estimate, and expenditure rose in every state, with Western Australia being the largest contributor to the rise with $22.9m. 

Meters drilled fell 1.2% for the quarter but were still 4.7% higher than the June quarter estimate for the previous year.

Selected base metals saw the largest increase in exploration expenditure with a 47.3 % increase ($60.6m).

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics mineral exploration expenditure rose in every single State and Territory of Australia, this is pleasing to see after a drop in the previous quarter” says Mr Warren Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

Greenfield mineral exploration expenditure continued another quarter of growth in all states except for Victoria where it fell by $1.6m declining for the third consecutive quarter. Western Australia recording an outstanding result with $184.3m of exploration expenditure, the second highest on record. 

In brownfields, mineral exploration expenditure grew in Victoria ($4.3m), Queensland ($19.9m), Western Australia ($35m) and Tasmania ($1.6m), remained the same in NSW, and dropped for South Australia and Northern Territory.

“Australia needs greater greenfields mineral exploration, and the significant growth in greenfields mineral exploration expenditure right across the country reflects the returning strength of the exploration sector.” 

“It has been a challenging environment for mineral exploration companies, however the statistics are now supporting better growth in the industry."

“Australia needs to continue to invest in mineral exploration to find the mines of the future and unlock the jobs and growth still waiting to be discovered,” said Mr Pearce.