SOUTH Australia’s mineral exploration expenditure rose for the fifth consecutive quarter in the September quarter of this year, outranking every state and territory except Western Australia, according to the South Australian Government.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the 2007 September quarter show that mineral exploration in South Australia grew to $87.2 million, compared to $51.1 million for the same period last year for an impressive 70.6% year on year increase.
The 12-month total exploration expenditure of $296.9 million to September 2007 has almost tripled the $100 million target for 2007 set by South Australia’s State Strategic Plan.
For the third consecutive quarter South Australia has achieved a higher quarterly mineral expenditure level than Queensland, with only Western Australia ahead of our State.
Of the $87.2 million spent in the quarter, $31.2 million was invested in the search for new mineral deposits with the remaining $56 million spent on the expansion and development of South Australia’s growing list of known mineral deposits.
According to the Government, most of the growth in this quarter is from the search for new mineral deposits with almost a 30% increase in expenditure in this area since the June 2007 quarter. This figure is more than double the $14.6 million reached in the September quarter 2006.
Holloway says the ABS figures also show there has been a strong increase in the search for iron ore and selected base metals including silver, lead and zinc.
Based on total exploration expenditure for the 12 months to September 2007 South Australia’s share of national exploration spending is 15.5%.