The Victorian minerals industry has increased exploration expenditure by 35 per cent, as its average quarterly growth rate continues to double the national average.
The Victorian Government released its Minerals Sector Snapshot which compiles the latest data from around the sector, mainly highlighting the 2021 financial year.
Mineral expenditure reached $184 million during this period, while new mineral licences more than doubled from 47 to 101 in the previous period.
This came as a result of $35.7 million in additional funding in the 2021/22 state budget, provided to ramp up approval processes .
Resources Minister Jaala Pulford discussed the figures after they were revealed at the Melbourne Mining Club’s Cutting Edge event this week.
“Minerals exploration is important to Victoria’s economy, bringing investment and jobs to regional areas,” she said.
“We welcome responsible minerals companies to Victoria that will work with communities to deliver growth, protect cultural heritage, and safeguard the environment during their operations and rehabilitations phases.”
New private capital expenditure reached $618 million in Victoria during FY21, while the total mineral production value surpassed $1.8 billion.
Most of this value was in gold which raked in $1.782 billion in the form of 722,239 ounces of gold.
Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville gold mine produced the bulk of this figure, producing 509,600 ounces in 2021 as Australia’s third largest gold producer.
This helped Australia to fleetingly surpass China as the world’s largest gold producer in August, before China reclaimed its title in November.
China had sat at number one in gold production since 2007, before Australia took its place.
In October the State Government announced the outcome of the North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release tender, which could see more than $100 million invested across northern Victoria.