An undeniable and ongoing rebound in commodity prices could take global mining spending in exploration up to as much as $21 billion by 2025, a level of funding last seen in 2012 according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, but which is necessary to sustain the industry’s growth.
While prognosticating that far into the future can inevitably lead to inaccuracies, Stan Wholley, President for the Americas at CSA Global — the world’s second-largest mining sector consultancy — said that such a hefty investment is essential.
“As deposits get harder and more expensive to find and after such an extended period of inactivity in the exploration space, I believe we need to be back at the levels seen in 2012 to replace resources and reserves required to sustain growth,” he told MINING.com.
Gold, by far, is the commodity leading the uptick in exploration spending, he says. The relatively stable and reasonably high current price has allowed producers to secure good margins again, Wholley notes, adding that many are beginning to use that surplus not only in exploration, but also in acquisitions.
One of the most recent examples is Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) (NYSE:GG) spending spree unveiled this week. The world’s No.3 producer of the precious metal by value not only is allocating more than $700 million to partner up with Barrick Gold Corporation (TSX:ABX) on a 50-50 joint venture in Chile, but it has also taken over Exeter Resource Corp. (TSX:XRC) in a deal worth $185 million.
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