Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    Exploration investment in WA soars

    18/11/2007 10:00 AM

    The phenomenal growth in mineral and petroleum exploration investment in Western Australia has been reflected in the latest figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    Resources Minister Francis Logan said the figures showed that WA’s mineral exploration expenditure rose by 39 per cent to $839.2million in 2006-07, accounting for nearly half of Australia’s total.

    Mr Logan said the petroleum sector had seen the biggest increase, with exploration expenditure more than doubling from $611million in 2005-06 to $1.481billion in 2006-07.

    He said base metal exploration had more than doubled, rising from $23million to $65million, iron ore had also experienced a significant increase of 70 per cent from $160million to $272million, with gold rising 12 per cent to $277million.

    “These figures indicate that mining companies are prepared to invest in WA at record levels - it is a terrific vote of confidence in the State,” the Minister said.

    “The State Government has committed approximately $21million each year to supporting programs that provide pre-competitive geo-scientific data to industry.

    “Programs being run by the Department of Industry and Resources’ Geological Survey of Western Australia are directly assisting exploration companies to find new resource areas.

    “One such program that has increased exploration is a project that Geological Survey recently undertook in the western Yilgarn with CSIRO, the Cooperative Centre for Landscape Evolution and Mineral Exploration and the Minerals and Energy Resources Institute of Western Australia.

    “In the month following the release of data from the surface geochemical survey, there was a three-fold increase in tenement applications.”

    Mr Logan said the trend of increasing levels of exploration expenditure reflected the well-established minerals and petroleum industry was now looking to secure its future with a more aggressive approach to exploration.

    “The current high levels of investment in new mineral and petroleum production require commensurate high levels of exploration to ensure there are deposits for future generations to develop,” he said.

    The Minister said the State Government had also provided additional funding to process the backlog of tenement applications that have been generated by the higher levels of exploration activity.

    Petroleum$611 million$1.481 billion
    Iron ore$160 million$272 million
    Nickel$118 million$158 million
    Base metal (copper, lead, zinc)$23 million$65 million
    Gold$247 million$277 million

    NOTE: Graphs indicating recent trends in exploration expenditure are available from the Minister’s office.

    Minister's office: 9222 8950