Exploration expenditure surges in Sunshine State

Photo | QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane and QEC Chair Kim Wainwright

The latest exploration data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is out, and it’s great news for Queensland.

Exploration expenditure in the Sunshine State for the September 2021 quarter has risen by 7 percent on the previous quarter to reach $196 million.

Exploration expenditure for the 12 months to September has risen to $723 million, which is 40 per cent or $205 million higher than the same period two years ago.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said today’s data painted an optimistic picture for Queensland’s resources sector which has continued to surge ahead for both petroleum and minerals.

“The exploration expenditure data is up 5 percent higher than the previous 12 months and 40 percent higher than the same period two years ago, so it’s another strong result for Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said today.

“These latest figures show our explorers have managed to continue to expand their exploration programs in spite of Covid-19’s impact on the availability to recruit skilled workers and source equipment from overseas and interstate.

“This demonstrates the continuing strength and ingenuity of the resources sector, which benefits every Queenslander in terms of job opportunities and our industry’s ongoing contribution to the state’s economy.”

The Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) Chair Kim Wainwright said the state’s exploration industry has shown resilience through the pandemic.

“It’s welcome news that the exploration industry is forging ahead in spite of the challenges of Covid-19,” Ms Wainwright said.

“Over the past 12 months, Queensland petroleum exploration expenditure hit $296 million, which is 8 percent higher than the same period in 2020 and 58 percent higher than 2019.

“Queensland minerals exploration expenditure hit $427 million over the past 12 months, which is 3 percent higher than the same period in 2020 and 29 percent more than 2019.”

Queensland minerals exploration expenditure by commodity over the past 12 months:

  • Copper exploration expenditure increased by 34% to $98.5 million
  • Silver, lead and zinc exploration expenditure increased by 104% to $16.1 million
  • Nickel and cobalt exploration expenditure increased by 139% to $8.6 million
  • Gold exploration expenditure increased by 26% to $103.7 million
  • Coal exploration expenditure decreased by 20% to $178.2 million

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