All our drillers have gone to Africa

Boutique drill producer XDR says Australia's drilling industry is in decline and most companies are heading to Africa to start new exploration projects.

XDR told Australian Mining it was looking to follow other companies to Africa and the Gillard Government's policies had "killed" the local mining industry.

"We're looking at moving into Africa. Most of our inquires come from over there now," company officials said.

"People are still drilling, but it's in Africa, not here. We'll be getting a distributor over there soon."

The company's statement is the latest gloomy outlook for the Australian industry.

Earlier this week Deloitte Access Economics predicted the mining boom would only last another two years in Australia and last week resources minister Martin Ferguson said the era of high commodity prices was already behind us.

But major drilling provider Atlas Copco told Australian Mining the industry was still performing well and there was still plenty of exploration in Australia and other parts of the world.

"Globally Africa is the place to be, but it's also hot in parts of Europe, South America, and parts of the Middle East," officials said.

"If everywhere else is booming then so is Australia, because commodity prices are high."

An Atlas official also told Australian Mining the cost of doing business in Africa was sometimes underestimated.

"If something goes wrong over there it's very difficult to find supplies. If you're doing business there you have to be entirely self sufficient," they said.

"Even finding simple supplies, like a hydraulic hose, can be difficult."

"We had to bring over our own container of hydraulic hoses."

Atlas said when logistical costs and the difficulties of finding supplies were taken into account Africa was not a far better region compared to Australia.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.