Exploration spending dries up

MINERAL exploration expenditure, excluding petroleum, fell 4.5%, or $A36.8 million, over the March quarter to $772.6 million, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Exploration spending dries up Exploration spending dries up Exploration spending dries up Exploration spending dries up Exploration spending dries up

 

Justin Niessner

This figure represents a 24.6% decline in the trend estimate for total mineral exploration compared to the same period last year.

Queensland was the largest contributor to the fall, down 6.4%, or $11.4 million, over the quarter.

The ABS said the seasonally adjusted estimate for mineral exploration spending rose 1% ($7.9 million) to $797.4 million on the quarter, led by Western Australia which saw expenditure increase 7%.

Expenditure on exploration on areas of new deposits fell dramatically, down 33.1% ($87.1 million) compared to an 11.5%, or $64.7 million, drop in expenditures on areas of existing deposits.

In original terms, mineral exploration spending fell 18.4% ($151.7 million) nationwide to $672.2 million during the quarter, with the largest decline in the coal sector.

Copper was the second hardest hit, down 33.8%, or $31.1 million, in exploration spending.

The report found that metres drilled fell by 9.3% over the quarter, and 32% compared to the same period last year.

This was a 7% slide in seasonally adjusted figures for the March quarter.

Metres drilled in original terms fell 29.6% over the quarter, with drilling at new deposits down 38.4% and drilling at existing deposits down 25.6%.

loader