Australia’s junior resources sector has started to crank up its spending as it continues to shake off the post-downturn funk and capitalise on the increased amounts of cash available to it.
The latest quarterly analysis of the financial health of the country’s listed exploration companies by accounting and advisory firm BDO, to be released today, shows a big increase in the amount spent by the nation’s small-caps on investing and exploration as well as doubling in the number of $10 million-plus capital raisings.
The amount spent by the nation’s juniors on investment during the quarter more than doubled from $133m in the March quarter to $269m in the June quarter, in another reflection of improved confidence and a brighter outlook for the junior exploration sector.
BDO’s study — based on the quarterly Appendix 5B reports lodged with the ASX by each listed junior — also found that total exploration spending increased by 11 per cent for the quarter to $338m, while the median exploration expenditure jumped by almost 30 per cent to $180,000. Tellingly, the median exploration expenditure figure is the highest since June 2014.
In a promising sign for investors backing the junior end of the market, the improving conditions for small-cap explorers is not being reflected in their administration expenses, with the rise in spending on offices, salaries and other administrative costs lagging behind the rate of recovery in exploration spending.