Spending on mineral exploration in Western Australia last year topped a record $1billion and accounted for half of Australia’s exploration expenditure.
Figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed WA’s position as an international mining hotspot.
WA recorded a massive jump of 51% in exploration expenditure last year.
Exploration in the December quarter reached $290million – another new record.
Spending on iron ore exploration exceeded gold for the first time in WA during the December quarter.
The ABS figures also show petroleum exploration expenditure in WA and adjacent Commonwealth waters was also a record $1.9billion in 2007, up 50% on 2006 and accounting for 72% of the Australian total.
The backlog of tenement applications awaiting determination had fallen from 18,823 to 16,506 in the 12 months to February 2008.