Australia ranked number 1 destination for mineral exploration

Australia has been ranked top in the world for mining investment potential according to the 2015 Annual Survey of Mining Companies report released by the Canadian based Fraser Institute.

Australia remains one of the world's biggest untapped minerals exploration markets, at a time when the global industry is experiencing a downturn. Readily accessible geoscience expertise and research support, via the Australia Minerals joint venture, is enabling investors to tap into Australia's diverse geological potential in a range of commodities to achieve one of the highest exploration returns.

High conveyor stockpiles of bauxite mineral

Bauxite being stockpiled at
Gladstone, Queensland

Australia is an established and stable destination for global mineral exploration investment. With a long history of successful mining projects, Australia has traditionally attracted a large percentage of global exploration investment.

Discovering, developing and exporting Australia's mineral commodities, is a very significant part of our economy, providing jobs and national income. Attracting investment through promoting Australia's resource potential is a key priority for the Australian Government. New discoveries are made, and Australia's resource potential is realised, through industry exploration investment.

Respondents to the Fraser Institute survey, undertaken between September and November 2015, indicated that about 60 per cent of their investment decisions are determined by mineral potential.

Mining drill equipment with sedimentary cores in foreground

A stratigraphic drilling rig in operation

Geoscience Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Pigram, said that this endorsement demonstrates the benefits of ongoing support for developing Australian minerals exploration potential.

"Exploration has become more costly and technically difficult because new discoveries will inevitably be more deeply buried than the minerals that have already been found," Dr Pigram explained.

The Australian Government launched the UNCOVER initiative in 2012 to address the challenge of discovering these potentially vast deposits that extend deep under a thick layer of sediment, or cover. This is a partnership between Australia's federal, state and Northern Territory governments, industry and academia with the aim of building a global competitive advantage for Australian mineral exploration.

Australia's overall Investment Attractiveness Index score increases

Workers in Personal Protection Equipment discuss drilling at an underground mine

Tritton Underground Copper Mine,
Nyngan New South Wales

According to the Fraser Institute report, Western Australia's Investment Attractiveness Index score places it as the most active jurisdiction in the world for investment, with Northern Territory and South Australia also ranking in the top ten, in 7th and 10th positions respectively.

Australia's overall regional median Investment Attractiveness Index score presents Australia as the most attractive region in the world for investment, with consideration given to both policy and mineral potential. All Australian jurisdictions improved on their 2014 Investment Attractiveness Index score and rank.

A number of Australian jurisdictions also improved their Best Practice Mineral Potential Index ranking. For example, the Northern Territory was ranked 5th of 109 jurisdictions evaluated in 2015, moving up from 38th out of the 122 jurisdictions evaluated in 2014.

As a partner in Australia Minerals, Geoscience Australia supports a collaboration of Australia's federal, state and Northern Territory government geoscience agencies, working together to offer ground-breaking information, unrivalled expertise and a record of innovation that supports mineral explorers to realise investment opportunities.

Australia's business, policy and investment processes, proven record of environmental, social, financial, legal and political stability, and its proximity to Asia's fast-growing markets, make it the smart, secure choice for exploration investment.

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