Thursday 3rd Dec, 2020

Victorian gold exploration spending soars in 2020

Minerals exploration spending in Victoria has reached new heights, with the June 2020 quarter surpassing the March quarter as the new highest mineral exploration expenditure ever recorded in the state.

The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates that around 75 million ounces of gold is yet to be found across the state.

Minerals exploration spending in Victoria is six times higher than it was in 2015, while gold production was up by about 55 per cent in 2018-19 – a level not seen in more than 100 years.

To help support the number of mineral licensing applications, the government is providing an additional $1.1 million to process the applications and ensure the sector can ramp up its works across regional areas to help economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Earth Resources Regulation currently has over 350 live applications for new minerals licenses, renewals, transfers and variations. In 2018-19 the regulator received less than 100 new applications for the whole year.

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A land access tool launched last year is available to help conversations between explorers and landholders.

Deepcore Drilling, a Bendigo-based company, has seen its employment levels quadruple since the start of 2018. The company has hired an extra 50 people since March 2020 and expects to hire 30 more by Christmas.

Due to the ongoing demand for minerals exploration services Deepcore Drilling plans to employ an additional 120 people across regional Victoria in 2021.

Victorian Resources Minister Jaclyn Symes said the government is backing the resources sector to help the economy recover. It aims to do so through funding additional staff to help process all the applications to search for more gold and other in-demand minerals.

“Victoria’s wealth was built on gold – mining not only played an important role in our past but will also be critical to our future prosperity and the creation of high value jobs for our regional communities,” she said.