The latest figures on the nation’s mineral and petroleum exploration are positive news for Australian jobs and the economy, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said today.
“Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show mineral exploration for the June quarter was up by almost 29 per cent and total petroleum exploration expenditure rose more than 10 per cent, with spending increasing by more than $560 million,” Minister Canavan said.
“Exploration for iron ore, coal and copper all rose strongly in the June quarter, suggesting miners are responding to strong demand, particularly in Asia.
“Mineral sands exploration grew particularly strongly, lifting by 44 per cent in the quarter. This reflects Australia’s growing importance as a supplier of minerals crucial to the development of clean energy and emerging technology across the rising economies of Asia.”
Minister Canavan said the Coalition Government was providing the investment needed for Australia to continue to explore new frontiers and discover world-class deposits to maintain a healthy pipeline of resources projects and remain competitive.
“The Government is backing our world-beating Australian resources sector because it supports Australian jobs and is an integral part of the economy,” Minister Canavan said.
“The sector employs more than 220,000 people, is producing more than half our goods and services exports, and earned $226 billion in 2017-18, around seven per cent of our GDP.
“This is why we have made the four-year (2016-2020) $100.5 million investment in Exploring for the Future, which is driving the next generation of resource discoveries.
“Working with state and territory government partners, this program aims to deliver new pre-competitive data and knowledge about the mineral, energy and groundwater resources in Northern Australia and parts of South Australia.”
Minister Canavan said the Government has also released 21 areas in six basins in Commonwealth waters in May for the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Acreage release.
“This annual release enables industry to undertake longer term planning to support ongoing investment in, and development of Australia’s offshore petroleum resources.
“We have also provided $26 million for the Gas Acceleration Program (GAP), to accelerate the development of onshore natural gas projects with the greatest likelihood of securing new onshore gas supplies for domestic gas consumers by June 2020.
“Additionally, the Government’s Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive encourages exploration by allowing junior companies to convert a portion of their otherwise unrecoverable tax losses into credits that can be used as an incentive to attract new investment.”