SA exploration slows

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show South Australia's exploration spending is down.

South Australia’s exploration spending for the March quarter was down nearly half on the previous quarter, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures have shown.

Spending in the quarter was $36 million, down from $68 million over the previous three month period.

According to South Australia’s Minister for Mineral Resources Development Paul Holloway, the drop in spending is part of a long-anticipated downturn in mineral exploration that has affected all States.

“The downturn in investment in mineral exploration reflects the current global financial crisis,” he said.

South Australia can still point to many positives in the face of the economic downturn, Holloway said.

“Despite this predicted downturn, South Australia’s mineral and energy sectors remain strong.

“Unlike other states, South Australia has not experienced any mine closures as a result of the global financial crisis and mining projects are continuing to proceed toward development and full operation.

“During the next 12 months, a further four to five mines are expected to be approved in South Australia, building on the 11 mines currently operating in this State.”

According to the ABS figures, SA mineral exploration expenditure during the March quarter comprised 28.6% spent on new deposits and 71.4% on existing deposits and mineral exploration expenditure for the 12 months to end of March 2009 slowed to $274.2 million, or 11.1% of the national total.

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