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|The nature of exploration in Australia is reviewed from its inception to the present time. It is seen as consisting of three phases: the first, prospecting; the second and third, mainly company-based activity. The first yielded the discoveries on which the mining industry was originally built. The great recent growth of the industry has been due mainly to the discoveries of the third. The technical, organisational, legis- lative and other aspects are reviewed. The overall result has been a very great increase in the known mineral resources and, viewed collectively, exploration is seen as providing the principal means of assessing, evaluating and building up the nation's mineral resources.|