The Yilgarn Craton is one of the world’s principal mineral provinces, with considerable resources of primary (hypogene) and supergene gold, sulphide-hosted and lateritic nickel, and bauxite, as well as lesser amounts of a wide range of other commodities. As such, it remains a major target for exploration. Despite variations in total expenditure in exploration for mineral resources (other than coal and petroleum) over the past 5 years, including a sharp decline from $1077m in 1996–1997 to $670m in 1999–2000, the proportion of Australian exploration expenditure spent in Western Australia has remained constant at about 62%. Most of this is for...

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