Political risk, poor infrastructure and lack of geodata stymying African exploration

August 19, 2016

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It is an age old adage that, when the mining industry enters a slump, exploration budgets, particularly those designated for greenfield activities, are the first to be curtailed. This has certainly been reiterated over the last few years as the drastic slump in commodity prices and, consequently, mining company revenues have been mirrored by a noticeable reduction in prospecting expenditure on a global scale. According to Canada-based think-tank the Fraser Institute, which interviews over 3 000 managers and executives involved in mineral exploration and development yearly as part of its Annual Survey of Mining Companies, the decline of commodity prices by almost 40% since the collapse of the commodity supercycle towards the end of 2011 has resulted in a decline in exploration expenditure from some $6.2-billion in 2012 to just $2.2-billion last year.

Category: General