Increased expenditure in new Qld resources defies COVID-19

1 March 2021

Resource exploration spending in Queensland increased by almost $130 million or 23 percent in 2020, according to new data released today.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said increased expenditure in coal, metals and gas exploration was a strong signal in the long-term confidence of the resources sector, particularly in the wake of the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on sections of the economy.

“These latest exploration expenditure figures tell a very positive story about the new investment and new jobs that are going to help Queensland work and earn its way through COVID,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“These results are remarkable because just like every other industry, resources has been impacted by COVID-19.

“Many exploration and drilling companies have reported financial losses, limited access to investment capital and logistics issues due to travel restrictions, but overall the industry has continued to perform.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today shows the overall expenditure in resources sector exploration last year was $679.4 million, which is almost $130 million above expenditure in the 2019.

Mr Macfarlane said the growth in exploration has been across coal, metals and gas.

“Exploration expenditure in minerals increased by 18 percent to $411.7 million in 2020 with coal, silver, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt and gold all up,” he said.

“Exploration expenditure in petroleum, including gas, also increased by 31 percent to $267.7 million last year.”

Mr Macfarlane said the QRC and its exploration arm, the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC), have continued to work with the Queensland Government on the release of additional areas for exploration and initiatives such as the Collaborative Exploration Initiative to support continued development.

“There is no room for complacency.  The Government and industry need to continue to work in partnership to grow exploration and ultimately the production investment pipeline,” he said.