The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) said world interest in Canadian minerals and metals reached a peak in 2011 based on its new Facts & Figures 2012 report released Jan. 21.
Exploration investment in Canada reached $3.9 billion in 2011, with spending for 2012 expected to have climbed even higher.
"The growth in exploration spending in Canada over the past decade has been remarkable," said Pierre Gratton, MAC's president and CEO in a statement. "Despite challenges, such as reduced access to capital for some miners, buoyant mineral prices have increased company willingness to invest significantly in the location and development of certain minerals and metals in Canada."
The association said between 2002 and 2011, worldwide exploration spending grew by 585 per cent. Canada was on top, taking up 18 per cent of global investment.
Canadian mineral production value rose 21 per cent to a record $50.3 billion in 2011, with Ontario leading the way at $10.6 billion.
The industry exported a record $101.9 billion worth of metals, non-metals and coal in 2011, accounting for 22.8 per cent of Canada's total exports.
"As exploration activity and mineral production are intrinsically linked, the Canadian mining industry could see a dramatic expansion in the years to come," said Gratton, who added prospects for 2013 and beyond look strong.