Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis announced at the opening of the South Australian Resources and Energy Conference in Adelaide on Monday that 27 resource exploration projects will share $2 million in grants as part of the Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) Discovery Drilling 2015.
The PACE initiative was established to encourage critical partnerships between the South Australian Government and the exploration industry for drilling in frontier areas of the state as well as areas with known economic mineral potential.
Minister Koutsantonis said the initiative will co-fund selected drilling projects from exploration companies to stimulate the next crop of greenfield discoveries and help share in the financial and technical risk of exploration.
“The current suite of proposed drilling programs represents a significant push into frontier areas of the State over the next year and clearly demonstrates the range of active projects and companies exploring in South Australia,” he said in a press release.
“These 27 proposals were selected from a pool of 35 high-quality applications and show a broad distribution throughout South Australia and target a range of commodities.”
He said the value of government investment was multiplied when considering the industry contribution, which means that $2 million in co-funding grants will draw an estimated additional investment of $4.9 million from these explorers.
“PACE is one of the ways the State Government has worked in partnership with industry to invest in long term exploration success. It has also helped establish South Australia’s international credentials as a favoured destination for mineral resource investment,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
The Minister pointed out that the drilling collaborations conducted thus far have produced a wealth of new, open-file data and exploration information from all areas of the State and have delivered a number of significant new mineral discoveries.
“The drilling collaboration programs provided through PACE have played a significant role in delivering new discoveries and maintaining exploration momentum in South Australia. Industry support is clearly evident as seen in the 2014 Evaluation of the Government’s PACE Initiative,” he said.
“While the complementary PACE Mineral Systems Drilling program is strongly focused on unravelling the complexity of the Gawler Craton, the PACE Discovery Drilling 2015 supports new exploration projects all over South Australia.”
The current round is planned to close in May 2016 with all the drilling data, assays and reporting released shortly after.
The successful PACE discovery drilling proposals can be viewed here.