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Mineral exploration expenditure in original terms rose by 37.5% ($59 million) to $217 million in Western Australia through the year to December quarter 2006. All of the major minerals showed strong increases over this period, with the highlights being iron ore (up $30 million or 71.5%), gold (up $17 million or 27.3%), silver-lead-zinc (up $4 million or 100.0%) and copper (up $3 million or 118.2%). Furthermore, petroleum exploration expenditure more than doubled in Western Australia through the year to December quarter 2006, increasing by 126.5% ($193 million ) to $346 million in original terms.
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