The latest World Exploration Trends report from SNL Metals & Mining, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, reveals that the global exploration sector continues to struggle against strong market headwinds.
Key findings of the report include:
- A 19% decline in worldwide nonferrous metals exploration budgets in 2015 compared with the previous year, as well as the lowering of the sector’s aggregate market capitalization to levels not seen since early 2009.
- The mining industry's estimated total budget for nonferrous metals exploration in 2015 was US$9.2 billion, less than half the record US$21.5 billion budgeted in 2012.
- An increasing number of junior companies are moving out of the sector by seeking opportunities in non-mining industries. As any future upward shift in market sentiment towards metals and mining is likely to be gradual and uneven, it could be some time before the juniors derive any practical benefit from an eventual upturn.
- Despite the troubles facing the junior sector, the number of active projects with drilling activity has remained stable over the past two years, with significant drill results remaining well above the levels reported in 2008-2009.
- Over the past 15 years exploration budgets have been shifting away from the grassroots work upon which new discoveries largely depend. With risk aversion continuing to plague the sector, companies are focusing their exploration activity on existing or developing mines to ensure an adequate level of reserves to support production.
- Early indications suggest that 2016 is unlikely to produce a rebound for the exploration sector; the research therefore projects about a 15% decline in exploration budgets for the year.
Attendees of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference are encouraged to visit the SNL Metals & Mining booth, #115 on the main trade show floor, for a free copy of the report and additional information.
Source: SNL Metals & Mining