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Corporate Exploration Strategies 2020

Monday, October 19, 2020
30 minutes

Newly released 2020 global exploration budget data from S&P Global Market Intelligence's Corporate Exploration Strategies, or CES, series shows that exploration sector optimism that appeared in the second half of 2019 has been snuffed out by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a second year of decreasing budgets in 2020. We estimate that the global nonferrous exploration budget has fallen 11% year over year to $8.7 billion from $9.8 billion in 2019.

Despite the challenges 2020 has brought, there are some positive signs. The number of active companies with exploration budgets has increased again, up 3% to 1,762 from 1,708 in 2019, as dormant companies reactivated themselves in late 2019 before conditions deteriorated. Gold allocations have also increased, to $4.3 billion, despite the difficult field season earlier in 2020.

We are cautiously optimistic on our outlook for 2021 budgets. Equity market support for explorers is trending above 2019 levels, and prices for copper and gold, the two largest targets for exploration, are well above where they started the year; both provide support for improved exploration budgets over the coming year.

Join us as we review the newly released 2020 global exploration budget data:

  • Exploration by commodity, geography and stage of development
  • Recent drilling and financing activity
  • 2021 exploration outlook
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S&P Global Contributor
Mark Ferguson is an Research Director and the Head of Mining Studies for the Metals & Mining Research division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Full Bio
S&P Global Contributor
Kevin Murphy is a Principal Research Analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence and is based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Full Bio

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