In 2012, we adjusted our exploration strategy to focus on the most prospective North American and Australian projects in our portfolio. Exploration is key to ensuring our long-term growth, and since 2008 we have continued to make a significant investment in exploring the land that we hold.
Brownfield exploration is uranium exploration near our existing operations, and includes expenses for advanced exploration projects where uranium mineralization is being defined.
This year we spent $10 million on four brownfield exploration projects, and $24 million for resource definition at Kintyre and Cigar Lake.
We spent about $45 million on regional exploration programs (including support costs). Saskatchewan was the largest region, followed by Australia, northern Canada, Asia and South America.
Plans For 2013
We plan to spend approximately 5% to 10% less on uranium exploration in 2013 as part of our long-term strategy.
We plan to spend approximately $14 million on eight brownfield exploration projects in the Athabasca Basin and Australia. Our expenditures on projects under evaluation are expected to total $24 million, with the largest amount spent on Inkai block 3.
We plan to spend about $34 million on 32 projects worldwide, the majority of which are at drill target stage. Among the larger expenditures planned are $9 million to test targets near our US operations and on our US satellite properties, $8 million on the Read Lake project which is adjacent to McArthur River in Saskatchewan, and about $6 million on our Northern Territory projects in Australia.