Purpose: This study examines whether the increasing intensity of exploration activity motivate analysts to acquire and process relatively more private information to meet investor’s demand and its effect on the accuracy of analysts’ average forecast. Originality: Focusing on the intensity of exploration activity by mining and exploration companies, this study examines the relation between exploration expenditure and analysts’ private information search activities and forecast accuracy. Findings: The study finds that the proportion of private information contained in analysts’ forecasts increases with the intensity of exploration activity. The study also finds that the accuracy of analysts’ average forecast increases with the intensity of exploration activity, due to the enrichment of the overall information environment by analysts’ private information acquisition. This result is robust to controlling for the effects of the number of forecasts and individual analyst forecast errors on the accuracy of analysts’ average forecast. Research limitations/implications: The results suggest that analysts undertake relatively more private information search activities for mining and exploration companies with higher levels of exploration expenditure. As the degree to which individual analysts’ forecasts contain private information increases, more of each individual forecast error is idiosyncratic and diminished through the aggregation process, thus the accuracy of analyst’ average forecast is improved.