Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore
Gold Proves A Winner In State Government’s Co-Funded Drilling Program
Victor P Taffa
Gold has proved itself the most highly sought after mineral in Western Australia in the State Government’s 2010-11 Co-Funded Industry Drilling Program.
Exploration for gold featured in 45 out of 90 applications for the latest round of funding which is part of the State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme, part of the Royalties for Regions program.
The Co-funded Industry Drilling Program provides co-funding of up to $150,000 per project or $200,000 for a single deep hole for exploration drilling in under-explored Greenfield or frontier areas.
In the 2010-11 Program 62 projects will share a total of $5.3 Million in Co-Funding.
“It is encouraging to see two geothermal projects are among the successful applicants, demonstrating support for alternative energy sources.” Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said today.
“Again, gold is the mineral featuring in most successful applications with 31 projects listing gold as the main, or one of the commodities sought.”
“This is followed by copper in 24 projects, 12 uranium and 11 nickel projects. Other commodities being explored include manganese, silver, iron, zinc, cobalt, lead and platinum group elements (PGE’s).” Mr. Moore said.
“This year there were also successful applications for a coal and, an onshore oil and natural gas project.”
“The State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme aims to encourage exploration in Western Australia to ensure long-term security of the valuable resources industry.”
However, Mr. Moore sounded a warning note about the Federal Government’s proposed resources super profits tax (RSPT), stating that the tax grab cast uncertainty over WA as a destination of choice for resources investment.
Three projects succeeded in obtaining the $200,000 co-funding reserved for projects which consist of a single deep hole. Each of these projects plans to drill holes deeper than 1500 m.
There was also a special category introduced for prospector applications as well as handicapping of multiple applications from one company.
In addition, applications were submitted using an online system which required applicants to address a number of questions related to the projects for which they were seeking co-funding. This process resulted in an overall high quality of applications
The argument used against the Mining Industry is “The minerals in the ground are owned by us all and that Mining Companies should Pay their fair share.”
The New South Wales Labor Government has given Sydney a Water Desalination Plant that is privately owned which completely plugs a hole in the Rudd Mining Tax argument.
Similarly the Tillegra Dam is being foisted upon Hunter Valley residents as Coffs Harbour contended with five floods in 2009.
Everyone should pay taxation however there has to be a balance. Instead of a 40% Mining Tax the Rudd Government would be better to abolish Payroll Tax so this would lead to higher employment rates and an evenly spread of taxation raised.
The flow-on effect of a 40% Mining Tax and with the Taxpayer to pick up Mining Losses will hit the Australian Economy harder than Prime Minister Rudd or Treasurer Wayne Swan realises.