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Australia’s mining industry is boosting investment in the hunt for more resources, with more than $2.3 billion spent on minerals exploration in 2018/19.

Data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week showed a 19 per cent rise in overall exploration spending from the previous year.

Within those annual figures was a 19 per cent increase in gold exploration spending to a record high of $964 million.

The ABS Mineral and Petroleum June 2019 Quarterly Statistics showed total mineral exploration expenditure increased 5.2 per cent to $629.6 million in the quarter.

Metres drilled fell 1.2 per cent for the quarter but were still 4.7 per cent higher than the June quarter estimate for the previous year. 

The Australian Drilling Industry Association said the overall growth trend continued on a steady rise, which was good for the industry as it allows for better planning and asset usage.

Recent ADIA survey results showed exploration rig utilisation to be at 77 per cent, compared with 72 per cent in 2018.
Latest figures show boost in exploration spend


Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said the mining industry needed stable policy settings from state and federal governments to continue to deliver benefits for all Australians.

“The recently announced Productivity Commission inquiry into resources sector regulation is a welcome first step in ensuring state and federal governments have the policy settings that continue to support mining and even greater investment in exploration to develop Australia’s next wave of critical mineral, base metal and gold mines,” she said.

“This exploration investment is creating and supporting jobs throughout the country, especially in regional Australia. 

“When exploration investment translates to minerals production, Australia is the big winner. Mining is the country’s largest source of export revenue and has generated $212 billion in company tax and royalties for Australia over the last decade.”