Resource exploration spending in Queensland increased by almost AUS$130 million or 23% in 2020, according to new data released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said increased expenditure in coal, metals and gas exploration was a strong signal in the long-term confidence of the resources sector, particularly in the wake of the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on sections of the economy.
“These latest exploration expenditure figures tell a very positive story about the new investment and new jobs that are going to help Queensland work and earn its way through COVID,” Macfarlane said.
“These results are remarkable because just like every other industry, resources has been impacted by COVID-19.
“Many exploration and drilling companies have reported financial losses, limited access to investment capital and logistics issues due to travel restrictions, but overall the industry has continued to perform.”
Recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the overall expenditure in resources sector exploration in 2020 was AUS$679.4 million, which is almost AUS$130 million above expenditure in 2019.
Macfarlane said the growth in exploration has been across coal, metals and gas.
“Exploration expenditure in minerals increased by 18% to AUS$411.7 million in 2020 with coal, silver, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt and gold all up,” he said.
“Exploration expenditure in petroleum, including gas, also increased by 31% to AUS$267.7 million last year.”
Macfarlane said the QRC and its exploration arm, the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC), have continued to work with the Queensland government on the release of additional areas for exploration and initiatives such as the Collaborative Exploration Initiative to support continued development.
“There is no room for complacency. The government and industry need to continue to work in partnership to grow exploration and ultimately the production investment pipeline,” he concluded.
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