TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Global mining exploration budgets are expected to swell about 20% this year, bolstered by the generally positive trend in metals prices extending into early 2018, a new report by S&P’s Global Market Intelligence has found.
Global spending on the search for nonferrous metals rose 15% year-on-year in 2017 to an estimated $8.4-billion, compared with $7.3-billion in 2016, representing the first yearly increase in exploration spending after four consecutive years of declining investment in this area, according to the World Exploration Trends (WET) report, published in conjunction with the 2018 iteration of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention, held in Toronto.
“Improved equity market support for explorers allowed many companies to launch or resume drill programmes on their most promising projects. Although the main focus was on gold, exploration targeting base metals assets also rebounded in the second half of the year, and the battery metals attracted particular attention,” associate research director Mark Ferguson stated.
According to him, there was a sharp increase in reported drill results in the last quarter of 2017, and financings closed the year on a high note.
“As a result, our year-end measure of exploration sector activity reached levels not seen since early 2013,” Ferguson noted.
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