Tasmania's mining pipeline is narrowing, with mineral exploration spending at its lowest level since late 2004.
Spending in the year to the end of June totalled $11 million, down from $19.3 million in the previous year, according to seasonally adjusted Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
Spending had declined for four consecutive quarters since it totalled $5.3 million in the June quarter of 2019.
Spending in the June quarter of this year was estimated at $1.9 million, which was the least since the December quarter of 2004.
Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the exploration figures confirmed Tasmania's mineral exploration sector had not been immune from the effects of coronavirus.
He said that was also the case with most other states.
"The government strongly supports the mining and minerals processing sector as it contributes significantly to our regional economies, and are doing what we can to support those affected through the pandemic and ensure the sector can thrive into the future," Mr Barnett said.
"Our support package for the exploration sector includes fee and rental relief and, with our EDGI grants program also helping to drive exploration in the state, I am confident that we will see exploration numbers pick up as national and international economic activity increases.
"Importantly, the mining and minerals processing sector has remained robust during the pandemic, with recent good news including the sale of Beaconsfield Gold Mine, recommencement of operations at Venture Minerals' Riley Creek (iron ore) site and TEMCO sale announcement."
Shadow Resources Minister Shane Broad said the decline was concerning and showed the state government was not taking job creation in the mining industry seriously.
"It is a terrible result," Dr Broad said.
"Mining is an incredibly important industry to Tasmania's economy in terms of jobs and exports.
"With declining exploration, it'll be longer before new mines are able to be started, the bankable life of existing mines won't be extended.
"There will have to be a catch-up at some stage or mining will decline."
Dr Broad said the Liberals had been funding exploration incentives to interstate and overseas companies.
"Clearly, more needs to be done as this is simply not working," he said.
"There's been more than one mining minister for every year this government has been in office, and the handballing means nobody is really across this portfolio.
"This is yet another important area of the state's economy faltering under the Liberals."
The ABS estimated mineral exploration fell by 6.8 per cent nationally in the June quarter in seasonally adjusted terms.