Global Exploration Budget Rises to $11.2 Billion, 2022 Expected to Continue Trend

According to a new report from S&P Global Market Intelligence, the annual global exploration budget will increase by 5% to 15% per year starting in 2022.

The 2021 global annual exploration budget shows that the exploration sector has rebounded from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The prediction of a market study showed according to their data that the aggregate annual budget to annual global exploration has increased by 35% year over year. Compared to the $8.3 billion budget in 2020, this year it increased to $11.2 billion. 

The large companies that continue to dominate the sector account for half of the global exploration budget with a total of $5.6 billion. However small company budgets have increased their planned allocations by 62% annually to a total of $4.1 billion. 

The increase in the value of base metals such as gold which dominate the exploration target, and increased financing activity are the main drivers of the budget recovery in 2021.

“As we move into the final quarter of this year, metals prices and financings remain strong, and the risk of further pandemic-related closures has diminished,” Kevin Murphy of S&P Global Market Intelligence said in the report. 

In terms of location, the report shows that Canada has brought in a large share of the global budget with an $800.5 million increase YoY to $2.1 billion, reaching its highest level since 2012. Conversely, Africa showed an underperformance with allocations.

Canada’s Mining Strength

Mining in Canada and gold mining, in particular, has long played a pivotal role in building and solidifying Canada’s economy today. The mining infrastructure that was built alongside cities in the 19th century has since grown to generate exports worth $21.6 billion for Canada by 2020. 

The country’s favourable geological and technological characteristics enable and facilitate gold production. The discovery, mining, and production of gold have laid the foundation for many of Canada’s towns, cities, and regions.

Today, Canada has the geology, technology, political and regulatory stability to be a premier gold mining jurisdiction. Because of this, mining companies have great opportunities for gold exploration, development, and production in Canada. 

Technology and Investment 

Canada is the number one country in equity financing raised for mining and mineral exploration. Forty-seven percent of the world’s public mining companies are listed on the TSX and TSXV.

Mining companies raised $44 billion over the past five years on the TSX and TSXV, accounting for 52% of all global mining financing over the past five years. 

In addition, the Canadian government also supports mining innovation. Investment funds such as Canada’s $155 million Clean Growth Canada program invest in clean technologies for more sustainable mining.

It’s no secret that the small country of just over 30 million pulls far above its weight when it comes to the mining industry:

  • The Canadian mining industry, directly and indirectly, employs 719,000 people across the country. This accounts for 1 out of every 26 jobs in Canada.
  • The Canadian mining industry has the highest average wage of all industrial sectors.
  • The mining industry is the largest private-sector employer of Indigenous Canadians.
  • Canadian gold mines produce more revenue than all other metal mines combined and account for more than half of 2019 exploration budgets.
  • As the world’s fifth-largest gold producer, Canadian gold mining is a key part of international production.
  • More than 75% of Canadian gold comes from Ontario and Québec.

Gold mining has played an essential role in Canada’s domestic and international economy and will continue to do so in the future. 


The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is not an insider or shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.

By Matthew Evanoff

I cover the mining industry and the best mining stocks around the world. I write about industry news, individual companies, projects, management, and profiles on industry leaders.

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