Round 16 is now open for the co-funded Exploration Drilling Program. Private sector exploration is encouraged with up to 50% of direct drilling costs covered by the scheme, focused on the greenfields regions.
Continued funding of the $10 million a year Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS), now in its 10th year, was announced last month. The scheme encourages increased private sector resource exploration in WA and has resulted in some major discoveries. The Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program is a flagship program of the EIS.
Successful Round 16 applications for projects in 2018 will be refunded up to 50 per cent of direct drilling costs - with caps of $150,000 for a multi-hole project, $200,000 for a single deep hole, and $30,000 for a prospector's project.
Among the successful discoveries is the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine east of Norseman, which was supported by EIS geophysics data and co-funded drilling. Other success stories include the Camelwood nickel deposit, the Yeneena copper deposit, Millennium zinc and the Dusk Til Dawn gold discoveries.
Every $1 million invested in the EIS resulted in $10.3 million of exploration activity.
Applications close on Friday October 20, 2017. For more information, visit http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au. Notices for current tenders and future tenders for mining, quarrying and oil and gas can be found at Australian Tenders.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said that the EIS is vital for maintaining investment and exploration activity in the resources sector.
"Applications tend to reflect market changes, two out of the 43 successful applications from Round 15 were for lithium exploration. We're expecting Round 16 applications to be focused on a range of commodities throughout WA's greenfield regions," he said.
Co-funding in all application categories is up to 50 per cent of direct drilling costs, capped at:
- $150,000 for general multi-hole applications
- $200,000 for a single deep-hole application
- $30,000 for a prospector application.
Co-funding will be available for exploration drilling only. The following will not be eligible for co-funding:
- resource definition drilling
- appraisal, stimulation and development drilling.
- applicants should note that the government will not support the development of new uranium mines.
The grant process is competitive, with marks assigned to your responses to the criteria (detailed in the application forms). Applications are ranked according to the total marks gained and grants offered until exhaustion of available funding.