Get the essential World Exploration Trends report for 2018.


March 05, 2018 | By Mark Ferguson, Nick Wright and Matt Piggott

Stay ahead of a market in motion. In this report, you'll learn the latest on metals and mining exploration in 2018, and what our outlook is for the year ahead. Read on to experience a sample of this intelligence.

Global spending on the search for nonferrous metals rose to an estimated US$8.4 billion in 2017, compared with US$7.3 billion in 2016, representing the first annual increase in exploration spending by mining companies after four consecutive years of declining investment in this area, according to the World Exploration Trends 2018 (WET) report from S&P Global Market Intelligence, released in conjunction with this year's Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention. But that’s not all.

Improved equity market support for explorers allowed many companies to launch or resume drill programs on their most promising projects. Although the main focus was on gold, exploration targeting base metals assets also rebounded in the second half of the year, and the battery metals attracted particular attention. In the last quarter of 2017, there was a sharp increase in reported drill results, and financings closed the year on a high note. As a result, S&P Global Market Intelligence's year-end measure of exploration sector activity reached levels not seen since early 2013.

So what does this mean? Despite significant market volatility, the generally positive trend in metals prices has continued in early 2018; we therefore expect the global exploration budget for 2018 to increase by a further 15% to 20% year-over-year.

Unlock the essential intelligence on world exploration trends to make decisions with confidence. Download the full report.

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