West Australian Mining Tenement Trends

17 Jan 2018

LandTrack Systems extracted all the Western Australian tenement data for the last five years using LandTracker and analysed it for trends, which revealed some interesting statistics. When we get more time, we will release more sophisticated data analysis.

As a preliminary, as of December 2017, in WA there are is total of 29,192 tenements, consisting of the following pending and granted tenements:

  • 8047 Exploration Licences;
  • 2069 General Purpose Leases;
  • 3672 Miscellaneous Licences;
  • 7617 Mining Leases;
  • 7544 Prospecting Licences; and
  • 75 Retention licences.

For the year 2017, 2077 tenements ceased to exist and of this;

  • 135 Prospecting Licences expired along with 1 mining lease;
  • 44 tenements were forfeited;
  • 616 tenements were surrendered consisting of 163 prospecting licences and 440 exploration licences the remainder being other tenure types; and
  • 1197 tenement applications are withdrawn predominately exploration and prospecting licences, a significant number of these would be competing applications.

If 2017 is any indication 5.5% of exploration licences are surrendered every year and 4% of prospecting licences expire or are surrendered. However in 2018, because the maximum period of a Prospecting Licence is 8 years, 541 Prospecting Licences will expire, which is 7.1% of them.

The graph below is a trend of quantity of tenements in the proceeding 5 years: As can be seen, the Mining Leases and Miscellaneous Licences are consistent in number over the 5 years and the Exploration Licences and Prospecting Licences are reducing in number reflecting the economic down turn shown in the following graph.

From the graph below, the dove with the olive branch for economic activity is slight up kick in the number of exploration licences.

Another interesting graph (shown below) is the average amount of time tenure exists as an application until granted or is withdrawn. So, if you are budgeting you need to allow yourself at least 12 months before the grant of a tenement.

The last graph shows the number of applications made each month over last 5 years. A couple of interesting trends on this. The bit of the surge in Exploration Licence applications at the end of last year, probably the Pilbara gold rush. The other up trend is the Prospecting Licences applications in June to October 2016 is Dacian accumulating their ground out near Lake Carey.

Also, each December there is a distinct down dip in activity as the mining industry take their holidays.