Mineral exploration is trending up, with 3.6 per cent growth to $561.4 million in the September quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
This represented the industry’s highest level of spending in five years. Spending was also up 25.7 per cent year on year.
However, the good news was somewhat offset by the seasonally adjusted estimate, which saw a fall of 1.7 per cent to $547.4 million, led by New South Wales, down 11.9 per cent ($7.8 million).
This growth was led by Western Australia, which contributed a 4.7 per cent increase ($15.5 million), while gold was the largest contributor in mineral terms, up 8.5 per cent ($18.8 million).
Exploration of new deposits was also a big factor, with the ABS reporting a rise of 13 per cent ($25.7 million) in this area. By contrast, exploration of current deposits actually fell by 2 per cent, or $7.5 million.
Drilling exploration has also increased; exploration drilling in terms of the number of metres drilled rose 5.8 per cent to the end of the September quarter and 22.5 per cent from the same period last year.
Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia all saw a rise in drilling expenditure while New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria saw falls in drilling expenditure.