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Earth Resources Regulation, Victoria, report that the number of minerals exploration licence applications submitted, doubled between 2018 and 2020, exceeding the greatest number of applications in any one year in the last 20 years and that number continues to soar.
It is of no surprise that all eyes are on Victoria given the state is the largest producer of brown coal which contributes to over 70% of the state’s electricity. Semi-metal antimony is also prevalent in the state with Australia’s only antimony mine, explorationists are actively trying to find new deposits.
What caused this resurgence in minerals exploration activity in Victoria? Good planning… or good timing?
The Planning –
In 2018, the Victorian Government announced a bold plan for mining over the next five years, with a vision to –
- Build community confidence and set standards for responsible exploration
- Advance and promote regional geoscience
- Champion Victoria as a Global Mining Hub
- Improve regulation practice and industry compliance, and
- Deliver modern, fit-for-purpose laws
The Timing –
Fosterville Gold Mine, east of Bendigo, reported record increases in production rates and in the quality of minerals mined. Commodity prices increased following constraints on worldwide supply due to Covid-19. Confidence in the mining sector is high.
While influenced by simultaneous events, the transforming industry working environment in Victoria is hailed as a central driving force behind improved investor confidence and the attraction of competitive interest to highly prospective regions of Victoria. With record levels of exploration expenditure across the State, this status is expected to continue for some time.
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