|According to figures published by the Metals Economics Group, based on reports on drilling taking place around the world, more than half of the potential new discoveries of base and precious metals recorded in 2010 were located in the Americas. And for the third year running, the continent is dominating the ranking of the world’s most mining-friendly jurisdictions.
Further down, with a major participation, sit Australia and West Africa, the latter being an important center for gold exploration.
The Americas’ strong position doubtlessly reflects two key factors: the region’s geological wealth with major producers of gold, silver, copper, nickel, and zinc, among other minerals; and the presence of jurisdictions which support mining as the basis for economic development and provide the industry with stable regulatory scenarios, which are vital for attracting long-term capital intensive mining investment.
Proof of this is the large number of mining megaprojects in development in the Southern Cone, particular in Peru and Chile, and which are the subject of the central report in this edition of LATINOMINERIA.
Americas’ strong showing in the MEG report shows that even well-explored countries like Chile with a mature mining industry continue to offer interesting opportunities to discover and develop world-class deposits.
But beyond the positions on the ranking, the study’s most important finding was that significant exploration is underway in the region; and this is important as exploration is the bedrock of the mining industry. New discoveries ensure that the sector continues to invest and grow in a country.
While the data gathered by MEG show a decline in the number of new discoveries announced in the last three years, as a direct consequence of the slowdown in drilling during the crisis which affected the industry from late 2008 to 2009, this trend should reverse as a result of the recovery in exploration activity recorded last year.
According to MEG, these results should also be of interests to suppliers of goods and services to the mining industry as well as purchasers of mine products, as they indicate in what the directions the industry will move over the coming years.
The data clearly shows that the Americas continues and will continue to be in the near future a hub for the global mining industry with all the benefits that this implies in terms of wealth generation, job creation, business opportunities for local suppliers as well as the development of wider society.