Global solid mineral exploration investment soars

By Liu Yukun |
Updated: Oct 30, 2023
Visitors look at models of mining equipment during the 25th China Mining Conference and Exhibition at Tianjin Meijiang Convention Center in North China's Tianjin, Oct 26, 2023. The 25th China Mining Conference and Exhibition opened here on Thursday, attracting more than 260 exhibitors and approximately 5,000 visitors from nearly 30 countries and regions. [Photo/Xinhua]

Global investment in solid mineral exploration reached about $13 billion last year, marking a substantial 16 percent year-on-year increase and reaching its highest point in nearly nine years, injecting fresh impetus into the industry, said a recent report.

The report was unveiled by a global mining research institute under the Ministry of Natural Resources during the 25th China Mining Conference and Exhibition that concluded on Oct 28 in Tianjin.

Examining the dynamics of supply and demand, the report underlines a divergence in global energy resource reserves, production and consumption. Fossil fuel supply and demand have maintained a delicate balance, with steady growth in oil production and consumption, returning to pre-pandemic levels. In contrast, natural gas supply and demand both decreased, while coal production and consumption reached historical highs.

Bulk mineral commodities displayed significant disparities in supply and demand. Steel production and demand both declined. Copper supply growth lagged behind demand, with consumption seeing a 3.72 percent year-on-year increase, according to the report.

Bauxite supply outweighed demand with a 0.8 percent consumption decline. The supply-demand gap for strategic emerging minerals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel continues to shrink, the report said.

In terms of trade, the report said global trade volumes for major mineral products experienced an overall reduction, while trade in strategic emerging minerals saw an increase.

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