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11 September 2019
According to the latest figures from Australian Bureau of Statistics, Western Australia has underpinned the growth in the total mineral exploration expenditure in Australia, with an increase of 5.2 percent to $629.6 million for the June quarter.
A total of $184.3 million of exploration expenditure was undertaken in WA, the second highest figure on record.
Based on a trend estimate, WA’s exploration expenditure was up by 6.2 per cent which account for a massive $22.9 million of the total $31.3 million national increase.
There has been an increase in 16.5 per cent compared to last years June estimate.
Base metals, including gold, were responsible for the largest increase in exploration expenditure (47.3 per cent), equating to a $60.6 million rise. Association of Mining & Exploration Companies chief executive Warren Pearce said that every state had a rise in mineral expenditure, which was pleasing to see after a drop in the previous quarter.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Pearce said WA’s result was outstanding. Mineral exploration expenditure in brownfields grew in WA by $35 million, Queensland by $19.9 million, Victoria by $4.3 million, and Tasmania $1.6 million.
It dropped in South Australia and Northern Territory but remained the same in NSW.
“It has been a challenging environment for mineral exploration companies; however the statistics are now supporting better growth in the industry,” Mr Pearce said.
Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said the government should help continue the positive momentum.
“The recently announced Productivity Commission inquiry into resources sector regulation is a welcome first step in ensuring state and federal governments have the policy settings that continue to support mining and even greater investment in exploration to develop Australia’s next wave of critical mineral, base metal and gold mines,” she said.