Australia’s investment in mineral exploration has surged during the 2018-2019 period on the back of growing interest in gold.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data revealed the country spent more than $2.3 billion on mineral exploration during the period, representing a 19 per cent increase from the previous year.
This was largely attributed to a record investment in gold exploration, which also rose 19 per cent from the previous year to $964 million.
The highest increase in exploration spending came from South Australia, up by 55 per cent to $85 million.
The positive ABS figures follow Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s announcement to streamline approval processes for job-generating projects, with a 12-month inquiry by the productivity commission into regulation.
Minerals Council Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said the mining industry required stable policy from both state and federal governments to continue to deliver positive results.
“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,” Constable said.
“This exploration investment is creating and supporting jobs throughout the country, especially in regional Australia.”
The Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) said the ABS results highlighted the success of the mining industry.
“Strong growth in exploration demonstrates the high confidence investors have in the future of Australia’s resources and energy industry,” AMMA head of policy and public affairs Tom Reid said.
“The ABS figures are overwhelmingly positive for the broader community and highlight how the industry’s growth can continue delivering not only a wide range of diverse and rewarding career opportunities, but a brighter future for all Australians.”