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WA mineral exploration up

THE latest mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics are encouraging, but further spending is needed in Western Australia, according to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies. According to the bureau’s December quarter statistics, trend estimates for total mineral exploration expenditure rose by $36 million, or 9.5 per cent, to $416.1 million, rising $21.7 million or 12.2 per cent in WA. Seasonally adjusted figures for mineral exploration showed significant rises in WA also, with $17.2 million more being spent, a rise of 9.4 per cent on the September quarter of 2006. National expenditure rose by $37 million, or 9.6 per cent. Petroleum exploration expenditure also increased, by $55.9 million or 11.4 per cent, to $544.5 million nationally, jumping $56.2 million or 19.4 per cent in WA for the quarter.AMEC spokesman Ian Loftus said that, while thedata was encouraging, WA mineral explorers could not afford to become complacent. “The real message I’m seeing in these figures is that Western Australia is losing ground to both Queensland and South Australia in their proportions of national expenditure,” he said.

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