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Dramatic form reversal for gold exploration index

GOLD exploration has returned to investors’ radar screens in the past month after recently falling out of favour.

The Australian Gold Council/ Hartley Poynton Explorers Index hit a record high in November, rising 25 per cent, while the S&P/ASX All Resources index rose only 5 per cent over the same period.

Forcing the index up were major movers Adelaide-based Minotaur Resources, which rose 1,737 per cent, Sydney-based Gateway Mining, which was up 540 per cent, and Queensland company, Matrix Metals, which rose 309 per cent.

Gold Council chief executive officer Greg Barns said the record performance was a welcome change in an industry that had been on a downward slide for the past few years.

But the record increase has not dented the Gold Council’s drive to push for taxation incentives.

“The stellar performance of the index this month does not detract in any way from the need for the

Federal Government to quickly

address the continuing discrimination against exploration companies in the area of venture capital taxation

incentives,” Mr Barns said.

“None of the top 10 performers in the index will be able to access the Federal Government’s recent election proposal of allowing taxation flow through for limited partnerships – a policy designed to benefit venture capital in Australia – because these companies are all corporations.”

The increase follows mineral exploration expenditure figures for the June quarter which, at $182 million, were 10 per cent higher than the figures for the June quarter 2000, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

WA was the main contributor to the increase, up $29 million for the period.

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