Corporate Exploration Strategies 2021


Title: Corporate Exploration Strategies 2021

Duration: 1 hour

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Newly released 2021 global exploration budget data from S&P Global Market Intelligence's Corporate Exploration Strategies, or CES, series shows that exploration budgets and activity have increased significantly in 2021, driven by strong metal prices and easier access to financing. We estimate that the global nonferrous exploration budget has increased 35% year over year to $11.2 billion from $8.3 billion in 2021.

The rapid recovery following the pandemic dip in early 2020 has renewed interest in exploration. The number of active companies has jumped 11% to 1,948 from 1,762 in 2020 as dormant juniors have reactivated. This has contributed to the junior sector increasing allocations by 62% year over year to a total of $4.1 billion. Despite this increase, the majors continue to account for most exploration with a budget total of $5.6 billion. Gold allocations have increased the most, up 43% to $6.2 billion, while copper has recovered to 2019 levels at $3.2 billion.

We are optimistic in our outlook for 2022 budgets. Equity market support for explorers is trending above 2020 levels and metal prices remain strong. We currently forecast an additional increase in budgets for 2022 of between 5% and 15%.

Join our analysts as we review 2021:

  • Exploration by commodity, geography and project stage of development
  • Discovery trends
  • Recent drilling and financing activity
  • 2022 exploration outlook

Kevin Murphy
Principal Analyst
S&P Global Market Intelligence

Paul Manalo
Research Analyst
S&P Global Market Intelligence
Eillen Grace Dela Cruz
Research Associate
S&P Global Market Intelligence
Gareth Taylor
Commodities Product Specialist
S&P Global Market Intelligence
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