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Record year for Victorian minerals exploration and mining

Record year for Victorian minerals exploration and mining

The latest Earth Resources Regulation Statistical Report confirms the growing contribution of Victoria’s mining and exploration sectors to jobs and support for more economically diverse regions.

Gold mining is now a $1.8 billion industry with gold production reaching the highest level in decades, with Victoria producing four times the amount of gold it did only five years ago.

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Data for 2019-20 shows spending on gold mining increased by a massive 33.3 per cent reaching $422.5 million and gold production increased almost 40 per cent to 792,267 ounces between 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Mineral exploration spending – vital to developing future mines and extending the lives of existing mines – reached $124 million in 2019-20, up from $47.5 million, or 2.5 times the amount spent on exploration five years ago (2014-15). 

Gold exploration reached $81.4 million in 2019-20, an increase from $16.4 million five years ago.

Mineral sands exploration almost quadrupled over five years, rising from $6.5 million to $23.9 million since 2015-16.

The Murray Basin has the world’s largest known deposits of mineral sands attracting a number of mineral sands projects which will create job opportunities in regional Victoria, particularly in the Wimmera and east Gippsland.

Around three quarters of spending by Victorian mines stays in Victoria through wages, goods and services and taxes.

The minerals industry employs Victorian geologists, geophysicists, field assistants, drillers, laboratory personnel and geoscientists across the state, with wages well above the all-industries average.

Providing jobs for young people to stay in regional areas, and creating opportunities for skilled Australians to move to regional Victoria is critical to our state’s development and reducing inequality gaps between Melbourne and the regions.

The MCA member companies are committed to responsible community engagement and the highest environmental standards as this growing industry becomes a bigger part of Victoria’s future.

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AMSJ April 2022