Gold The Winner In Exploration Program

Gold The Winner In Exploration Program

Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore

Gold Targets Popular With Explorers In Co-Funded Drilling Program

Victor P Taffa

The State Government’s current round of the Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program shows that gold remains the most sought after commodity, featuring in 49 % of applications.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said programs such as this gave companies an extra incentive to drill in underexplored areas, which was the key to the continuity of Western Australia’s robust mining industry future.

“Again gold was the commodity that featured in most successful applications with 26 projects listing it as the main target, or as one of the commodities sought.” Mr. Moore said.

“Gold was followed by copper in 17 projects, nickel in 10 and iron for nine projects. Other commodities being explored include platinum group elements, zinc, lead, uranium and manganese.”

“It is also pleasing to see a geothermal and an oil and gas project among the successful applications.”

This application round, which closed on March 25, resulted in 53 successful applications. Applications included nine from prospectors for drilling programs which will be undertaken between July 2011 and the end of June 2012.

General applicants will share in $4.5 million while prospectors are being offered $196,000.

The Co-funded Industry Drilling Program provides co-funding of 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. Payment is made to successful applicants after the completion of their drilling programs.

Information acquired by the companies through the drilling programs is publicly released on the Department for Mines and Petroleum’s website after a short confidentiality period. The information adds to the geological knowledge of the State and helps reduce risks for subsequent explorers.

Another round of co-funded drilling will be advertised from August 2011, calling for applications in September-October 2011 for projects to be undertaken between January 2012 and the end of December 2012.