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Mineral exploration decline threatens the future of Austraila and Tasmania



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T im Fischer mr Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources

"Mineral Exploration Decline Threatens the Future o f Australia and Tasmania”

The Leader of the National Party, and Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Tim Fischer MP, said today that the present low level of mineral exploration will have devastating consequences for the economy in the future.

"Mining provided $27billion in export income in 1990-91, which was over 50% of Australia's merchandise exports. The bulk of that wealth was as a result of exploration dating from at least five to ten years before. This lead time is partly due to unnecessary delays caused by Labor's red, black and green tape which mining companies must untangle to get mining projects underway."

"Therefore mineral exploration now is crucial for Australia's economy in five years time. But under eight years of Labor, we find that in real dollar terms mineral exploration expenditure is running at almost half its 1981-82 level", Mr Fischer added.

The decision by the Prime Minister not to review Coronation Hill is a further blow to the outlook for mineral exploration in Australia."

Tasmania

"In Tasmania, the situation is particularly depressing. In 1978/79 mineral exploration in Tasmania represented 5% o f the Australian total. Even with the enormous drop in this total which has occurred since then, Tasmanian expenditure on mineral exploration now accounts for only 2.3% o f the Australian total"

"I applaud the spirit which has prompted the Tasmanian Liberal party to seek to boost mineral exploration in the 620,000 hectares locked away since 1989. The people of Tasmania face a clear choice between a cottage economy with candle-power or making sensible use of the State's natural advantages", Mr Fischer concluded.

For further information, phone Jim Groves on (06) 277 4225 Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600. Telephone (06) 277 4058. Facsimile (06) 277 2052

ENDS 26 January 1992

"Mineral Exploration in Tasmania"

Expenditure ($'M)

............... Full Year March Quarter

89-90 90-91 (Estm). 89-90 90-91

Australia 539 442 (-18%) 129.5 125.7 (-3%)

Tasmania 11.8 10.1 (-15%) 2.8 3.2 (+14%j)

Exploration Tenements

Oct 90 Jun 91 Sep 91

% change in yeaij

Total area held sq. kms.

7100 5400 5200 -27%

Number of Licences (cument & pending)

111 97 95 -14%

Average size of Licence

64 55 55 -14%

Number of Companies

44 38 38 -13%