Exploration Funding Shortage Jeopardises Value of Acquired Knowledge

John Robertson

PortfolioDirect

Australia’s listed resources companies will again be reporting perilously low cash positions over the next few days in their June quarter updates. Fewer than one in ten of the companies required by ASX to report quarterly cash positions had enough funding at the end of March to make it through another year, according to a compilation of the reports from international accounting firm BDO. An investor would be foolish to turn a blind eye to the finances of an explorer but the best exploration results are typically the culmination of many years of activity as cash resources are drained. Over half the spending on exploration over the last 10 years has occurred in the last three years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Given typical gestation times, there will be a pipeline of future discoveries with their genesis in earlier spending. Sirius Resources, Sandfire Resources, Peel Mining, Impact Minerals and Talisman Mining are examples of the often inverse correlation between financial positioning and exploration success where the latter is based on knowledge accumulated over several years.


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John Robertson is Chief Investment Strategist for PortfolioDirect a provider of resource sector investment stock ratings and portfolio strategies for mining and oil and gas investors. He has worked as a policy economist, corporate business...

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