There has been an increase in mining exploration activities across Australia according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This has led to an increase in exploration expenditure of 23.18%. It is backed record expenditure of $673.1m in Western Australia.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive officer Warren Pearce said Australia’s minerals sector had continued to be resilient throughout COVID.
“Despite the challenges impacting the ability to staff operations and access to tenements, greenfield expenditure has grown by 1.85 per cent and brownfield expenditure by 22.3 per cent, year-on-year,” he said.
“Metres drilled for this quarter increased by 17.43 per cent, with drilling of existing deposits increasing by 20.88 per cent, and greenfield drilling by 9.87 per cent.
“Whilst staffing shortages have significantly impacted drilling programs across the nation for the quarter, heightened demand for drill rigs and exploration drilling remains.”
Iron Ore took the lead in the greatest increase of expenditure, increasing by 44 %. This was closely followed by Nickel and cobalt, with a strong 24% increase.
The increases highlight a continued demand for Australia’s critical minerals.
Although the increase across the mining sector in Australia is favourable, there is still a way to go to compete with industries world-wide. The emerging, low-cost mining jurisdictions around the world are setting the tone for the future of mining.
MCA chief executive Tania Constavble said Australia must retain its geoscience technology advantage through ongoing public investment in research and development.
“The government should provide competitive regulatory settings on tax, workplace relations, safeguards mechanism and streamlined environmental assessments and approvals with states and the Northern Territory,” she said.