West Africa, which comprises 100% of Geodrill’s operations, accounted for approximately 4.1% of 2009 worldwide exploration expenditures, with Ghana accounting for US$82.2 million, Cote d’Ivoire accounting for US$49.6 million and Mali accounting for US$46.5 million (26.1%, 15.7% and 14.7%, respectively, of total West African expenditures). The remaining seven countries range from 2.6% to 11.7% of total West African expenditures. West Africa has outperformed the overall industry by a significant margin. MEG’s estimated exploration expenditures in West Africa totalled US$315.5 million in 2009, a 460.4% increase from the low of US$56.1 million experienced in 2001, compared to total industry expenditure growth of 250.0%. West Africa’s 2009 levels also declined less over 2008 levels when compared to the overall industry with a contraction of 25.2% versus 41.7%, respectively. West Africa’s cumulative average growth rate of 17.3% has also outpaced the overall industry
It is expected that once the information is finalized for 2010, the figures will indicate a strong rebound in exploration expenditures driven by buoyant commodity prices, access to capital and an increase in the global economy when compared to late 2008 and 2009. Many majors have publicly announced significant increases in exploration expenditures for 2010 with Barrick Gold Corporation (US$155 million in 2009 vs. US$175 million in 2010), Goldcorp Inc. (US$110 million vs. US$145 million), Newmont Mining Corporation (US$187 million vs. US$205 million), Kinross Gold Corporation (US$72.5 million vs. US$97 million), Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (US$54 million vs. US$110 million), Yamana Gold Inc. (US$56 million vs. US$78 million) and Eldorado Gold Corp. (US$18 million vs. US$35 million) all announcing increases of 10% to 90% year-over-year. Geodrill’s dominantmarket share in West Africa positions the Company to capitalize on strong industry growth in 2010 and beyond.