The value of mineral and petroleum exploration in South Australia has cracked the $600 million mark for the first time, according to the latest figures released by the State Government.

“This is the first time the combined expenditure on minerals and petroleum has broken through the $600 million mark in South Australia’s history,” State Minister for Minerals and Resources Tom Koutsantonis said.

“Spending on minerals exploration in South Australia within the 12 months to December alone totalled $311.6 million.

“This is the fifth consecutive quarter in which the 12-month spend on mineral exploration in this State exceeded $300 million.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the 12 months to December 2012 mineral exploration expenditure in South Australia totalled $311.6 million, slightly lower than $312.8 million spent in the 12 months to December 2011.

The ABS figures also show petroleum exploration expenditure for the December 2012 quarter was $122.3 million, up significantly from $69.3 million in the September 2012 quarter.