The figure was up 8% over the June quarter and 45.4% higher than the same time last year.
Seasonally adjusted, the figure was at $921.7 million, with exploration expenditure in Queensland rising by 12.5% and 3.8% in Western Australia.
“Exploration is a visible sign of confidence and is the first step in the development of the next generation of projects,” Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson said.
“Australia has the natural resources, skilled workforce and balanced policy framework to go on prompting exploration on a vast scale.
“These figures indicate that some of the investment decisions we’ve seen recently may soon be followed by more of the same. Each one representing increased export earnings and more jobs.”
The trend estimate for metres drilled rose 4.5% over the previous quarter and 28.7% over the same quarter last year.
Drilling on new deposits rose 7.2% and drilling on existing deposits rose 8.9%, in original terms.
Coal exploration represented the biggest jump, up 12.2%, with the largest rise occurring in New South Wales, closely followed by iron ore exploration, up 9.3% in original terms.