The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety of Australia says that activity in Western Australia's exploration sector has reached a high not seen in the last five years. It seems as if this increase is directly related to the rise in gold prices in the U.S. in 2020.
Many large companies have increased production. This has boosted production for mining but also for laboratories that test drilling samples. One laboratory, Kalgoorlie lab, that typically tests around 50,000 samples a month has increased testing by nearly 30 percent by the end of 2020.
This has all been despite the coronavirus pandemic that was originally suspected to decrease mining, but in fact has had the opposite effect. It's common to hear those in the mining industry Down Under to say they are busier than ever, and it is only expected to increase in the coming year. Some have even deemed it the "21st Century Gold Rush."