Australian exploration is in good shape

THE 2020 financial year was an outstanding period for exploration success in Australia.
Australian exploration is in good shape Australian exploration is in good shape Australian exploration is in good shape Australian exploration is in good shape Australian exploration is in good shape

It was such a good year that we've been forced to more than double the field of nominated projects in the MNN Awards Explorer of the Year category.

As announced this morning, we have nine nominees this year, up from just four last year.

While in previous years, the nominees in this category are companies with established resources, it was too hard to ignore some of FY20's breakthroughs.

However, only three have resources this year.

Tietto Minerals' Abujar project in Cote d'Ivoire wasn't discovered this year, but exploration momentum saw the resource grow to 2.15 million ounces.

Apollo Consolidated reported a maiden 1.03Moz for its Lake Rebecca project outside Kalgoorlie during the year.

Mincor Resources upgraded its Cassini resource four times (to the latest figure of 58,700 tonnes of nickel at 4%), Kambalda's first greenfields discovery in 20 years that will underpin the restart of operations.

The others were considered worthy nominees due to value creation and technical success, as well as flow-on effects, such as nearology rushes.

In the case of Legend Mining's Mawson discovery and Stavely Minerals' Cayley lode discovery, it came after years of work.

Chalice Gold Mines' Julimar discovery was a first-hole find in a brand new mineral province.

Greatland Gold's Havieron drillholes attracted Newcrest Mining and is likely to revive a once-great mine, Telfer, that was on its last legs.

The Hemi gold discovery by De Grey Mining has created a billion dollar explorer and could be Western Australia's next open pit gold mine - something of a rarity these days.

Alkane Resources' Boda discovery singlehandedly made the Lachlan Fold Belt one of the world's hottest exploration addresses.

The fact that eight out of nine of our nominated projects are in Australia bodes well for the future.

There has also been plenty of success outside of our list of nominees.

Last year's winner, Bellevue Gold, and runner-up, Liontown Resources, have both continued to grow world-class deposits near Leinster.

Spectrum Metals' success at Penny West resulted in a $230 million takeover by Ramelius Resources.

Musgrave Minerals and Rox Resources have had recent gold successes at Cue and Younami, respectively, and were probably unlucky to miss out on nominations.

Metalicity has also recently posted some strong gold results at Kookynie.

In earlier stage potential discoveries, assays are pending for Western Areas (Western Gawler in South Australia), Kincora Copper (Trundle in New South Wales), Redstone Resources (Tollu in WA) and Great Southern Mining (Cox's Find in WA).

The market also continues to await news about Rio Tinto's Winu discovery in WA and BHP's Oak Dam West project in SA, which are both likely major discoveries.