The presentation provides a high-level overview of the general trends for mineral exploration (both bulk minerals as well as base and precious metals) in the World over the last 70 years – with special focus on the industry’s performance over the last decade.
- At the global level, exploration expenditures bottomed-out at US$11.2 billion in 2016 (in constant 2019 Dollars). Over the following two years they rose by $1.0 billion. However, due to uncertainty in the commodity markets World exploration expenditures fell in 2019 to $11.3 billion. Until the current trade war between the US and China is resolved, the outlook for exploration will remain subdued / uncertain.
- Over the last decade MinEx estimates that ~ 1070 discoveries (>=”Moderate” in size) were made in the World … that equivalent to 2 new deposits each week.
- Out of the 1070 discoveries only 19 of these were Tier 1 (or World Class). Four each were found in China and Australia, three in Africa and two each in Canada, USA and Pacific / SE Asia.
- Gold still remains the main focus for exploration – accounting for 37% of total expenditures and nearly half of all discoveries made.
- Up until the 1980s the Majors used to make most of the discoveries. Over the last decade Junior explorers accounted for 63% of all discoveries (by number).
- 66% of the value is tied-up in the Tier 1 and 2 discoveries – but these account for less than 8% by number
- In terms of the value proposition for exploration the recent story has been disappointing. Over the last decade the sector has switched from creating (net) value to destroying value. The bang-per- buck is currently only 55 cents in the Dollar … hopefully this will improve over time as recent discoveries grow in size and value.
In summary, the outlook is subdued / uncertain… to meet our future needs we need to improve our discovery performance.