THE head of Perth-based resource information distributor Intierra says the upturn in the resources sector is starting to flow through to the local exploration industry.
The company’s chief executive officer, Don Pridmore, told WA Business News Intierra had noticed an upturn in the exploration sector over the past three months.
This view is not shared by all in the mining industry, however, with claims from some players that exploration spending is not flowing, even in light of buoyed commodity prices and increased resource investment.
The industry has been lobbying the Federal Government for a tax deductible investment scheme to make it easier for the exploration industry to sustain investor interest.
A decision by the Government is expected in the next Federal Budget, due in May.
Dr Pridmore said that, while there had been an upturn in the exploration sector in recent months, it was too early to quantify how much was being spent.
Dr Pridmore predicted significant exploration activity over the next few months.
However, he said the current upturn in the resources sector did not change the fact that a more sustainable system was needed to attract and sustain investor interest to the sector.
“Prior to this boom during the 1990s, when companies were floated, there was hardly any evidence of that money flowing through to the ground,” Dr Pridmore said.
“That does raise the question of what happens to this money.”
He said Intierra was trying to make the industry more attractive and accountable by compiling more up-to-date and accessible information so investors and companies minimised the risk of acting on old, unreliable or incomplete information.
“The industry needs more transparency . . . any serious player will tell you that,” Dr Pridmore said.
“This endless recycling of dogs just can’t keep going on.”
Intierra, which has announced an expansionary acquisition into North America and Canada, offers a unique service combining financial reports with mining and economic news reports, as well as geological, mapping and lease information into electronic alerts and reports for resource companies.
Many local explorers utilise Intierra’s service to gain instant alerts when prospective ground is dropped or up for renewal.
Now, fresh from its 2003 merger with former counterpart Minmet, Intierra has acquired Mineral Information Maps (MIM) in Canada.
Dr Pridmore said the acquisition would provide a more comprehensive system to its clients and marked a step towards generating shareholder wealth through ‘blue sky’ global expansion.
MIM’s geological and lease content will be available over the Internet and linked to many of the properties reported to the North American markets.
Dr Pridmore said the challenge was to now provide a seamless global system that combined global sources in a comparable format understood by companies.
Another benefit of the Canadian acquisition would be the generation of ‘hot play maps’, already popular in North America.
Hot play maps define an area around a significant mineral deposit or discovery and then combine geological data and company information with land holdings in the area.
Intierra has grown from six employees since going commercial in 2002 to more than 17 staff today.
It is a public, unlisted company with a large shareholder base consisting of mining industry leaders from Perth, the eastern States and London. It is chaired by managing director of London mining house, Ocean Resources, David Hutchins.
Also on the board are former Minmet owner Chris Wokes and managing director Cindy Burrows and Julian Wright, the son of Lang Hancock’s late business partner, Peter Wright.
“The industry needs more transparency . . . any serious player will tell you that. This endless recycling of dogs just can’t keep going on..”