Investor sentiment has returned to the Australian mineral exploration sector — that’s the view held by a clear majority of investors, punters, onlookers and presenters at the Mining 2017 Resources Convention.

The upbeat mood was set early on the first day of the Brisbane conference yesterday by Vertical Events managing director Stewart McDonald.

“All the companies who are presenting today, their share price is up on average 37 per cent since this time last year,” Mr McDonald said.

“There is a direct correlation between metres drilled, share price and money raised.  If you don’t drill, you don’t find. It’s all about exploration.”

Landstead Fund director Andrew Sparke echoed this view, telling the 600-plus delegates that the exploration sector had finally started to rebound following a significant boom and bust cycle.

“We are definitely seeing a resurgence in the resources space that should continue,” Mr Sparke said.

“It has taken a long time to come. The last cycle was about twelve years and when you see those longer cycles and strong performance over a very long time you start to see longer and more protracted downturns. I think it’s great to see that we are through that now and heading in the right direction,” Mr Sparke added.

Mr Sparke said the junior resources sector was a great place to invest with the base metal miners and explorers of particular interest in the current market.

“We are quite active at looking at where we want to be and how we want to deploy our capital,” he said.

“A couple of areas that we are looking at are in the base metals including zinc, nickel and copper. There has been a turnaround in those spaces.

“These metals are linked to global infrastructure spend so obviously in the US and China. Whether demand will exceed expectations, it continues to show a lot of strength.”

Ongoing political tensions between North Korea and United States would see precious metal prices, in particular gold, continue to stay at highs given its safe haven status.

“With the rise of electric vehicles, lithium and cobalt over past year has been a fantastic area to develop some returns,” he said.

Landstead is a global investment firm that provides funding for ongoing business objectives to listed small and mid-cap growth companies.

In Australia, resources has been a major sector with the firm investing around $51 million in Australia’s junior resources sector since its Sydney office opened in 2007.

Currently there are 730 resource companies on the ASX that invest in projects globally across 107 countries. The metals and mining sector is the largest industry on ASX, representing 30 per cent of all listed companies.

Vertical Events’ premier flagship event, the Mining 2017 Resources Convention, is being held at the Brisbane Hilton August 29 and 30.