Exploration investment has continued the steady downward trend in the September quarter, with Queensland the worst hit according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Mineral exploration fell 3.6 per cent on the national trend estimates, down by $16.5 million to $446.9m for the quarter.
Queensland fell by $10.9 per cent, down $10.7m, while on seasonally adjusted figures Western Australia fell by 7.7 per cent, or $21.7m.
However in original terms mineral exploration is down 11.7 per cent to $455m for the quarter, a loss of $60m worth of investment in the industry, with greenfields down $15m and brownfields down by $45m.
Iron ore has seen the greatest drop in investment, consistent with the step-change to production phase, which has seen $46.1m, 24.4 per cent cut from expenditure on the previous quarter.
Gold was next in line with 13.4 per cent or $13.9m dropped from expenditure.
Total metres drilled in the September quarter was down 1.8 per cent on the previous period, with the estimate 13 per cent lower than the 20134 estimate.
However, in original terms greenfields metres drilled are up 28.5 per cent, while brownfields fell 8.2 per cent.