Global mine exploration budgets up in 2010 -report

* Nonferrous metals exploration spending tops $12 bln

* Industry still averse to riskier jurisdictions -report

TORONTO, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – A rise in metal prices and more
stable market conditions prompted mining companies across the
globe to boost their exploration budgets by more than 40
percent in 2010, said a report issued by the Metals Economics
Group on Thursday.

The report, based on input from more than 3,200 mining
companies, estimates that the total of 2010 budgets for
nonferrous metals exploration reached $12.1 billion.

After rising for six straight years to a record high of
$14.4 billion in 2008, nonferrous exploration budgets collapsed
in 2009 to slightly above $8 billion as the global economic
meltdown and declining metal prices hurt the industry.

Metals prices — the primary driver of exploration spending
— have since improved markedly and metals have traded well
above the long-term trendline throughout 2010, leading to a
rebound in spending, the MEG report said.

However, the report notes that the mining industry’s
appetite for risk has not returned to levels seen before the
economic downturn as mining companies continue to face the
threat of increased royalties, resource nationalism and
windfall-profit taxes in many jurisdictions.

Exploration in a number of countries considered to be
higher risk continued to fall in 2010, the MEG report said.

The report includes input from companies that mine base
metals, precious metals, diamonds, uranium and a few other
industrial minerals.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway)

Global mine exploration budgets up in 2010 -report