Ongoing exploration is necessary to establish new mines, to maintain a skilled labour force and to extend the productive life of capital equipment.
Although the more mineralised regions of Tasmania (for example, the Queenstown-Zeehan-Rosebery area in western Tasmania) have been extensively explored on the surface, much of Tasmania remains relatively unexplored.
Exploration activity remains at a low level in 2000-01. Reasons for this included the world-wide downturn in exploration and the market's unwillingness to make available risk capital for mineral exploration.
Tasmanian mineral exploration expenditure in 2000-01 was $9.2m, some 4.5% higher than in 1999-2000, and 22.7% lower than in 1998-99.
Exploration activities in 2000-01 included those of:
PRIVATE MINERAL EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE(a)
Tas. as proportion
of Aust. expenditure
(a) Other than petroleum.
Source: Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia (Cat. no. 8412.0).
- Allegiance Mining NL, which released results of a resource estimation and scoping study into the potential economic worth of the Avebury nickel deposit, 7 km south west of Zeehan; and
- Goldfields (Tasmania) Limited, which continued to obtain gold from drilling south of the Henty mine.