Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore
Minister Announces Latest Round Of Royalties For Regions Funding For Exploration
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore today encouraged mineral exploration companies to apply for a share in more than $5 Million of State Government funding.
His call came as part of the second round of funding for the co-funded exploration drilling program. The program is the centrepiece of a five-year, $80 Million Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) funded through the Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions program.
Mr. Moore said the Government’s support for exploration drilling in under-explored areas of WA had already increased knowledge of the State’s geology and helped identify potentially valuable mineral deposits.
“The second round of funding is available for drilling projects planned for 2010-11.” Mr. Moore said.
“The first round was very competitive, attracting 168 applicants which resulted in 35 projects successfully gaining support from the $3 Million in available funding.”
“Results from some of the co-funded drilling projects have shown early indications of potential commercial success, as well as returning quality core from under explored areas of WA.”
“The exploration drilling program boosts new resource discoveries and helps identify tomorrow’s mines today.” Mr. Moore said.
“It preferentially funds projects that promote new mineral and energy targets, and innovative exploration concepts and technologies. It also encourages industry to drill in areas that have mineral, petroleum or geothermal potential and is ultimately aimed at helping to identify new opportunities.”
The Minister said the program illustrated the Government’s support for business and regional and remote communities to take advantage of the current economic resurgence led by the resources sector.
An expanded resource sector would generate more jobs and more funding to invest into health, law and order and education for the community.
The Co-funded Drilling Program would provide up to 50 % of direct drilling costs with three different caps based on the types of applications.
General multi-hole applications were capped at $150,000 while a single deep-hole project could attract up to $200,000 of funding.
A special category was available to genuine prospectors with funding capped at $20,000 per project. This funding would also support geochemical analyses based on the drilling.
Applications must be lodged with the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) by 5 pm on March 19.