Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

Minister for Education and Training; South West

    Strong minerals exploration expenditure

    14/09/2005 12:00 AM

    Expenditure on mineral exploration in Western Australia for the June quarter 2005 was the highest since 1998, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

    Mineral exploration jumped 20 per cent from comparable figures in 2004 to $167million.

    Acting State Development Minister Mark McGowan said an important aspect of the investment in exploration would be the balance between expenditure on existing deposits and new deposits.

    “In the June 2005 quarter there was $80million spent on exploration of new deposits compared to $87million on existing deposits,” Mr McGowan said.

    “While gold dominated the exploration expenditure the solid figures of $41million for nickel exploration and more than $45million for iron ore are most welcome.

    “The Gallop Government has made significant improvements to free up land for exploration and it is pleasing that every quarter since March 2002 there has been an increase in the trend estimate of mineral exploration expenditure.

    “WA represents 60 per cent of the Australian mineral exploration activity and continued improvement is part of our plan to create more jobs and opportunities for Western Australians.”

    At the same time petroleum exploration expenditure was also strong with almost $526million of activity in the past 12 months, the Minister said.

    Minister’s office: 9213 7000