Exploration numbers out

The December quarter fall in Australian minerals exploration is set to continue for the foreseeable future, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) researcher told MINING DAILY.

The fall in Australian minerals exploration during the December 2008 quarter is set to continue for the foreseeable future, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) researcher Mark Busby told MINING DAILY.

“The expectation is that it will continue to be going down,” he said.

“The expected data is showing a big decrease.”

According to the ABS, overall exploration expenditure fell $46.0m (7.0%) to $613.4 million in the December quarter, with the largest falls in Queensland, which was down $18.0m (16.7%) and Western Australia, down $15.9m (4.4%).

South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources Development Paul Holloway said that despite representing a fall, his State’s $68 million spent on exploration is a positive.

“South Australia remained in third place behind resource rich Western Australia and Queensland, states that also experienced a slowdown in exploration spending in the December quarter,” he said.

Holloway said a slowdown in exploration spending was inevitable in the face of the sharp fall in world commodity prices in the past six months.

The steepest national fall in terms of minerals sought was copper exploration, down $23.5m (29.7%), with the largest fall occurring in Queensland.

The largest rise in exploration expenditure by minerals sought this quarter was for iron ore, which was up $20.5m (12.7%).

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