The Western Australian Government has announced the successful applicants for Round 23 of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) co-funded drilling program and the inaugural co-funded Energy Analysis Project (EAP) program.
The co-funded drilling program is a competitive program, open for applications twice a year, which offers up to a 50 per cent refund for innovative exploration drilling projects, capped at specific amounts.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) received 84 applications for the drilling program.
Almost a third of successful applicants are searching for battery minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, graphite and rare earth elements. Other commodities include gold, silver, copper, diamonds, base metals, and platinum-group metals.
The EAP program offers grants to six companies investigating geological aspects of the Northern Perth Basin and Canning Basin.
The program encourages exploration of petroleum and geothermal resources using existing State resources, such as drill core, sidewall core, and cuttings, or to re-analyse existing data. According to the Western Australian Government, 12 applications were received for the EAP program.
For Round 23 of the EIS, $6.3 million in grants were offered to projects across WA, which includes an additional $1.3 million from the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan.
A recent independent study, covering the first 10 years of the EIS, reiterated the robust economic benefits of the EIS, with every dollar invested resulting in a $31 return.
Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Johnston, said there has been a number of success stories from mining companies using the EIS, most recently Encounter Resources’ Yeneena copper-cobalt discovery in the Paterson province.
“The high number of applications is a strong indicator of the continued interest in Western Australia’s resource industry,” Minister Johnston said.
“The new Energy Analysis Project co-funding initiative will help companies to make the most of our State’s extensive resource data to refine their resources targeting.”