PERTH (miningweekly.com) – New data released on Thursday showed that mineral exploration investment reached A$135.8-million in Victoria, in 2019/2020, with some 388 662 m of drilling completed.
Mineral exploration expenditure, a measure of industry confidence and a precursor to future investment, is at a record high, increasing 33% from 2018/19.
Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes on Thursday welcomed the 2019/20 Earth Resources Sector Indicators report, which highlights several positive trends, including a capital expenditure of some A$624-million from the resources sector.
“An expanding resources sector is a crucial part of the government’s booming infrastructure agenda and of creating local jobs across Victoria,” said Symes.
She noted that the record infrastructure investment of the government’s Big Build is driving growth for the quarry sector and in the six years prior to 2020, production of building raw materials grew by 25%. Quarry production exceeded 63-million tonnes of sand, rock and gravel in 2019/20.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics data highlights minerals exploration has now reached its highest ever recorded value, peaking at A$51.4-million in the March 2021 quarter. This is more than a 20% increase on the previous quarter, well out-pacing the national growth rate of 13.75%.
“It also shows that in 2019/20 year-on-year minerals exploration spending in Victoria grew by a third. In response the government has provided more funding to ensure the processing of minerals licence applications can continue to meet demand, while ensuring safeguards are in place,” Symes said.
Gold production remains buoyant and is at its highest level since 1906, in 2019/20 year-on-year production was up almost 40%, coming mainly from the Fosterville deposit.
“This latest data shows that our resources sector is rock-solid in its growth – that’s great news for local jobs and infrastructure that improves liveability for Victorians.”
“We’ll continue to invest in programmes across the resources portfolio that in turn help build new homes, hospitals, schools and transport infrastructure,” said Symes.