HALIFAX - METALS ECONOMICS GROUP (MEG) has polled over 1,800 companies and concluded that their combined global non-ferrous exploration budgets for 2007 total US$9.99 billion. This is the highest amount identified since MEG started its survey in 1989 and the fifth annual increase in a row.
MEG estimates that the reporting companies account for more than 95% of non-ferrous exploration expenditures around the world. The missing 5% would bring the total to US$10.5 billion, a 40% increase over last year's total and more than double the previous high in 1997. The 2007 report was the first time MEG had included uranium exploration ($936 million) in its numbers.
Excluding numbers for uranium, the hottest exploration sector was gold, which received 41% of the total spending. It was followed by base metals (38%), diamonds (10%), PGMs (3%) and other (10%). The area of greatest interest is Latin America where spending will reach 24% of the total. Canada with 19% was second, and then Africa (16%), Australia (12%), United States (8%), Pacific and Southeast Asia (4%) and the rest of the world (17%).
A full description of the MEG study is available at www.MetalsEconomics.com.