Mineral exploration key to industrys future
“The Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia June 2014 quarter report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ shows a slight increase in mineral exploration expenditure and metres drilled on the back of consistent decreases,” said Simon Bennison, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies CEO.
“This is not surprising given exploration is a seasonal industry and as such the seasonally adjusted estimate shows a decrease in expenditure and metres drilled.
“These levels continue to be historically low. Investment in exploration on new deposits is similar to post GFC levels in the March 2009 quarter which reflects the challenges currently facing the industry.
“Given the long lead time from discovery to a producing mine, these figures are extremely concerning. Investment in greenfields exploration is essential for new discoveries to secure the future of the Australian mining industry.
“The industry contributes 10 percent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and employs around 250,000 people in Australia. The industry is essential to support Australia’s economy and Government revenue streams into the future.
“Australia’s reputation must be restored. In 2013 67% of exploration funds raised on the ASX went to international projects. The number of Initial Public Offerings on the ASX also dropped from 126 in 2007 to just three this year.
“It is essential then that the Federal Government’s proposed Exploration Development Incentive initiative is quickly legislated. This along with the repeal of the mining tax will go a long way to restoring Australia’s international competitiveness and increasing investment to stimulate the sector,” said Mr Bennison.