Mining exploration spending in Australia hits decade-low

Mining exploration spending in Australia hits decade-lowAustralia’s spending on mining exploration has hit a near-decade low of A$381 million in the three months to March, in a dramatic fall led mainly by the iron ore and coal sectors.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Monday, the country’s total exploration spending dropped 13.4%, down almost 60% from the high of A$1 billion invested in the industry in the first quarter.

Mining exploration spending in Australia hits decade-low

Investment in iron ore exploration dropped by $63 million or 43.4$. The sector is down 76% since 2012. Spending on coal was down more than $34 million or 44% in the first quarter of the year, becoming the second-largest decrease by commodity.

Mining exploration spending in Australia hits decade-low

In terms of states, Queensland led the decline with spending down 32%, or $31 million. Western Australia's exploration spending dropped $30 million, or 12%, led by a significant decline in iron ore activities. And in coal-rich New South Wales, spending on exploration for the fossil fuel almost halved to $9.9 million during the March quarter.