The largest rise in expenditure was for coal exploration, up 84.9% or $93.1 million, to $202.7 million, with $184.4 million spent in Queensland.
Overall, the trend estimate was 8.9% or $70.1 million up on the previous quarter and a staggering 43.7% higher than the same time last year.
Unsurprisingly, the largest contribution to the rise in the trend estimate this quarter was in Western Australia, up 6.9% or $28.9 million, followed by Queensland, up 14.4% or $25.7 million.
The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 7% this quarter to 2.7 million metres, up 26.2% compared to last year.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of mineral exploration expenditure rose 4.4% (or $36 million) to $854.8 million, with the largest rise coming from Queensland, up 26% or $45.1 million.
Surprisingly, the only decrease was in WA, which posted a 5.5% or $24.9 million drop in expenditure.
In original terms, mineral exploration expenditure rose 39.6%, or $257.3 million to $907.4 million, with Queensland recording the largest rise, up 88.1% or $113.7 million, followed by WA, which was up 24.1% or $87.4 million.
Exploration of new deposits rose 35.9%, or $77.1 million to $292.1 million, with WA and Queensland again recording the largest contributions.
Expenditure on areas of existing deposits rose 41.4%, or $180.2 million, to $615.3 million.
Explorers spent $214.7 million looking for iron ore in Australia, with $189.9 million of the funds spent in WA.
The ABS is estimating December half expenditure of $1.6 billion or $1.8 billion seasonally adjusted.