Plunging coal prices lead to fall in exploration

THE Queensland exploration sector is still under immense pressure, as global economic concerns ensure continued funding difficulties and uncertainty, according to the Queensland Explorers Council.
Plunging coal prices lead to fall in exploration Plunging coal prices lead to fall in exploration Plunging coal prices lead to fall in exploration Plunging coal prices lead to fall in exploration Plunging coal prices lead to fall in exploration

 

Lou Caruana

The QEC Explorers’ Index decreased 3.8% in the three months ending December 31, compared with a 5.9% increase in both the Deloitte Queensland Index and S&P/ASX All Ordinaries.

Over the 12 months to December 31, the QEC Explorers’ Index decreased 30.9%, compared with a 7.8% and 13.5% increase for the Deloitte Queensland Index and S&P/ ASX All Ordinaries, respectively.

The decrease in the Index over the quarter is comparable to the 4.6% decrease in the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, a useful barometer of global commodity prices, according to the QEC’s latest update.

Overall exploration expenditure in Queensland fell in the December quarter from $207 million to close to $190 million, reflecting in large part the 15% decline in coal exploration, Queensland Exploration Council chairman Geoff Dickie said.

“This in turn is a reflection of the decline in coal prices and also the introduction of the Queensland Government’s competitive bidding regime for coal exploration permits, which requires that no new applications for coal exploration permits will be accepted until the new system is commenced,” he said.

Similar to the last quarter, there were no new listings of minerals exploration companies with Queensland projects in the December quarter.

“However, there were a number of capital raisings in the December quarter, with Ivanhoe Australia Limited raising in excess of $75 million. Carbon Energy raised $10 million, and RMA Energy Limited and Citigold Corporation Limited both raised in the order of $8 million,” he said.

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