Exploration spending second highest on record

Australia’s uranium exploration companies have spent the second highest amount on record on their search for the nuclear fuel during 2010-2011, despite lower commodity prices and reduced demand following the Fukushima nuclear emergency in March.

Nationally, the industry spent $213.9 million searching for and proving up uranium resources, according to full-year exploration expenditure statistics released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The record was set in 2007-2008, when $231.5 million was spent.

And uranium companies in Western Australia spent $100.7 million, the largest annual amount ever recorded in a State or Territory.

The Australian Uranium Association said the results were a strong sign of the confidence the uranium industry has in the medium and long-term outlook for the nuclear industry and for growth in world demand for uranium.

 

Uranium Exploration: Australia 2004/05 to 2010/11 *

$millions

 

(Year)

Queensland

Western Australia

Northern Territory

South Australia

AUSTRALIA

04/05

0.4

0.3

6.9

13.1 (est)

20.7

05/06

4.6

2.2

19.1

30.3

56.1

06/07

9.0 (est)

11.2 (est)

30.1

63.8

114.1

07/08

38.1

26.8 (est)

48.7

118

231.5

08/09

29.5(est)

28.6(est)

54.5

72.6

185.3

09/10

22.4 (est.)

55.4

38.6

52.7

169.1

10/11

17.6 (est)

100.7

41.9

53.7

213.9

*Source: ABS, series 8412.0.

(Exploration for uranium is banned in Victoria and New South Wales and is negligible in Tasmania)