Financing targeted for Australia in the first half of 2016 was up 39% compared to the same period last year. Financing in the region accounted for 17.9%, or about US$682.4 million, of the total capital financings by destination at the end of the March quarter, although that figure declined to 7.8%, or about US$409.6 million, for the June quarter.
Australia remains the second-largest nonferrous exploration destination with a budget of roughly US$1.07 billion, or 12.2% of the world's total exploration budget for 2015. It continues to be one of the world's mining hotspots, especially for iron ore.
Drilling activity surged in the June quarter from the previous three-month period with more than 3,000 holes reported, reaching the second-highest total since at least 2013. In terms of the number of holes drilled with significant drill intervals, gold remains the leading drilling target.
Looking at the in-situ value of reserves and resources in Australia, coal and iron ore represented the highest values at around US$12.9 trillion and US$7.4 trillion, respectively. Queensland was the key contributor for coal in terms of resource value while Western Australia led the way for iron ore.
Multiplying the 2015 as-reported, aggregated commodity production with the 2015 average commodity spot price, iron ore was the most valuable commodity produced for that year with nearly US$34.38 billion in calculated revenue, followed by gold at US$10.34 billion.
Bauxite is the commodity with the highest amount of announced capital spending at US$1.95 billion, mainly due to Rio Tinto's US$1.9 billion investment in the Weipa project in Queensland. The second highest-ranking commodity is copper with over US$1.6 billion in announced capital spending.