Exploration News (June 01, 2003)
Junior sector recovering
OTTAWA, ONT.–Exploration and deposit appraisal spending in Canada appears to have stabilized in recent years, according to a report released in mid-April by the federal government. There had been a significant decline in spending from the 1997 peak of $921 million to the low of $497 million in 2000. The spending recorded in 2001 was $513 million, and was estimated in 2002 at $501 million, indicating a leveling off of the downward trend. More recent evidence suggests that Canada may in fact have entered into an upward trend in exploration and deposit appraisal spending.
The report found that Canada’s junior mining sector, which had been particularly affected by the downturn, has recovered nicely, with a fourth consecutive increase in spending in 2002. In 2001, junior companies accounted for 35% of total spending in Canada, but that proportion rose to 42% ($209 million) in 2002. Spending by senior companies at mine sites was forecast to increase 44% to $103 million in 2002.
Canada ranks second in terms of countries where the world’s larger mineral companies are the most active. The larger Canadian companies were expected to undertake 30% of all the exploration programs in the world in 2001, by far the largest share of the global mineral exploration market.
The report, Overview of Trends in Canadian Mineral Exploration 2002, is the product of the Canadian Intergovernmental Working Group on the Mineral Industry, and is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/pubs/explor_e.htm, or by telephone (613) 995-4577.