The Victorian Parliament is currently conducting an Inquiry into the benefits and drivers of Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria. I was invited to make a submission to the Inquiry, with a special focus on identifying the barriers to Greenfields exploration and development, as well as the opportunities to develop new mining projects to Victoria.
My submission drew heavily on past Mining Surveys by the Fraser Institute – and showed that Victoria is rated poorly against other Australian States and many other countries. The main barriers are a perception that the State is not well-endowed with minerals and that there are major concerns over land access and securing environmental permits. As evidenced by recent successes in South Australia (where Government support directly led to the discovery of the Carrapateena Cu-Au deposit), these perceptions can be changed. Examples were also given of Government actions on royalties and taxes in other countries that impacted on the level of exploration spend there.
It estimates that for every dollar spent on exploration leads (on average) to $10 worth of capex, $88 worth of revenues, $6-13 worth of wages and $2-3 worth of royalties in the future. In other words, successful discoveries has a huge economic multiplier effect. For this reason it is vital that Governments nurture the exploration industry.
The submission also has a map showing the current “hot spots” for mineral exploration around the world.