Mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure breaks $600m for first time

mining 3
mining 3

The Minister for Minerals Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis has announced figures published yesterday, that show the combined minerals and petroleum exploration expenditure for 2012 reaching a record $602.6 million.

Image courtesy of [wandee007] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [wandee007] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“This is the first time the combined expenditure on minerals and petroleum has broken through the $600 million mark in South Australia’s history. Spending on minerals exploration in South Australia within the 12 months to December alone totalled $311.6 million.” Mr Koutsantonis said.

This will be the fifth consecutive quarter in which the 12-month spend on mineral exploration in this State exceeded $300 million, he reported, revealing that exploration in South Australia is a key element in ensuring the state continues to tap the full mineral potential.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, figures for the 12 months to December 2012 mineral exploration expenditure in South Australia totalled $311.6 million, slightly lower than $312.8 million spent in the 12 months to December 2011.

ABS figures also revealed petroleum exploration expenditure for the December 2012 quarter was $122.3 million, up significantly from $69.3 million in the September 2012 quarter

“South Australia remains an attractive destination for exploration spending,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

South Australia’s mineral expenditure in the December quarter of $66.8 million now ranks third behind the resource-rich states of Western Australia and Queensland.

‘Copper exploration expenditure in South Australia in the December quarter was $35.3 million, up from $34.9 million in the September quarter. Exploration for copper totalled $145.6 million in the 12 months to December 2012, up from $129.9 million in the 12 months to December 2011. ‘

The Government was also investing to generate pre-competitive data that will make South Australia an even more attractive destination for mineral explorers, Mr Koutsantonis believes.

“We have allocated $2 million to fund new pre-competitive surveys using remote-sensing technology designed to identify prospective areas in the Gawler Craton. Much of the Craton is situated within the newly opened Woomera Prohibited Area, providing a huge new area for explorers to target minerals including uranium, gold and copper,” he said.