The Victoria government in Australia has started implementing short-term measures to help mineral exploration activity continue through the Covid-19 pandemic.
These include a temporary reduction in fees, charges and rents, as well as other flexible licence conditions.
Explorers and miners active in Victoria have faced significant disruption in the form of movement of people and equipment access, as a result of Covid-19.
Additionally, difficulties to access ground have made it challenging for some explorers to meet their licence conditions through no fault of their own. This while exploration investment is also coming under pressure as capital markets become more risk-averse.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Global Market Intelligence has warned that global mining exploration spending may drop by 29% this year, which will make it the lowest spending rate for mining exploration in 15 years.
The Minerals Council of Australia says in a statement that a revival in exploration is critical to Victoria’s recovery.
“Given Victoria’s significant mineral potential, exploration programmes help attract private sector investment in regional areas which in turn builds the public good of geological information.
“Investment in exploration will deliver economic returns for future generations and keep geologists, surveyors and others in work in Victoria through the recovery phase of the pandemic,” the council states.