The Liberal National Government has set aside $5.6 million intended for 46 exploration drilling projects in Western Australia.
According to the media statement by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion, the funding is part of the successful Co-funded Drilling program.
These exploration incentives will boost Western Australia’s reputation as an attractive investment destination.
Mr. Marmion also said that these grants had been very competitive, and that there was a record 101 applications requesting $11.1 million in co-funding.
“The EIS Co-funded Drilling program provides incentives to drill in underexplored areas to ensure the continued prosperity of the State’s resources industry, particularly in the current difficult financial environment being experienced by exploration companies,” Mr Marmion said.
The Drilling program is a flagship program of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS), which is a State Government initiative supported by Royalties for Regions refunding up to 50% 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.
“In the past, the Co-funded Drilling program has helped unearth substantial new resource discoveries. Some discoveries such as Sirius’ Nova are expected to be mined within a few years and others, such as Beadell’s West Musgrave Handpump discovery, were instrumental in promoting interest in a region which had previously been underexplored,” the Minister said.
“The EIS is just one of the many reasons why Western Australia is ranked as the destination of choice in Australia for explorers as measured by the world-renowned Fraser Institute Survey.”
The latest funding is a message to global investors that the Government is serious about attracting further exploration investment.
The launch of the Exploration Incentive Scheme in 2009 has ranked Western Australia as the preferred location in Australia on the Fraser Institute Policy Potential Index which measures reputation as an exploration investment destination.