PDAC: Miners willing to keep spending on exploration

Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:18pm EST
 
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Last year's rebound in exploration spending by the global mining industry is still going strong, even though the volatility that buffeted commodity and equity markets last year has yet to fade, according an influential report published on Sunday.

The study from Metals Economics Group, issued in partnership with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, sees the largest gains coming in gold exploration activity, extending on 2011 gains. Overall exploration spending rose about 50 percent last year.

MEG's World Exploration Trends report is issued every year at the opening to PDAC's convention in Toronto, the global industry's largest annual gathering.

"Early indications from companies we've been talking with so far this year show that many gold producers are increasing their exploration budgets by more than most of the other commodity producers we've talked with," said Jason Goulden, head of research for MEG, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based consultancy.

Exploration spending on non-ferrous metals touched a new all-time high of $18.2 billion in 2011, more than double a low of about $8.4 billion in 2009, when the industry was stung by the global economic meltdown.

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For chart on global exploration spending distribution:

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