Monday, January 24, 2011

2010 Mineral Exploration Numbers are Out

In 2010 companies spent $322,000,000 on exploration in BC, this is more than a doubling from 2009 when it was only $157,000,000.  This is still below the figures for 2008 ($367,000,000) and 2007 (abt $430,000,000).

What needs to kept in mind that that a lot of this exploration expenditure was at existing mine locations or advanced projects close to production.   As an example, Mount Milligan had $33 million spent on it in 2010.

In the last six years $1.8 billion dollars as been spent on exploration in BC.   What is important in this spending is that a lot of the money is going on the work needed to move mines into production or keep them in operation.  

In the last few years large scale mines have been bogging down in trying to get through all the regulatory hoops.  What has been working not badly has been the small mine program.   The Shasta gold mine in the Toodoggone by Sable Resources that pulled out 700 ounces gold equivalent - $960,000.  Eagle Plains Resources has done much the same with the Yellow Jacket Project in the Atlin area.

In general there are about six of seven major mines that could very well be operating within the next couple of years.   New Afton, Cooper Mountain, Mount Milligan, Kitsault, Dome Mountain, and Kemess North (now as an underground project) are all clearly moving towards production.   This represents the biggest expansion in new mines in ages in this province.

It will be interesting to see what the mood is like at the AME Exploration Roundup when I go there tomorrow.

No comments: