The successful applicants for Round 21 of the Western Australian Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program have been announced.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) received 61 applications for Round 21, with 45 applicants offered co-funded drilling grants worth $5.23 million.
The applicants’ 49 projects stretch from the Kimberley and Pilbara in the north, through to the Mid-West, Goldfields and the South-West regions.
The Western Australian Government revealed that almost a third of the successful general category applicants are searching for battery minerals, including one vanadium project and two rare earth element projects, while seven successful prospectors are looking for gold, copper and base metals.
The applicants will have 12 months to undertake the work – from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), Warren Pearce, said the amount of applications received reflects the strong interest in Western Australia as an investment destination for mineral resources.
“The co-funded drilling program helps exploration companies leverage matching private funding to undertake greenfield drilling, helping to bringing much needed additional investment into Western Australia,” Mr Pearce said.
He noted that the announcement of the EIS is timely, as some parts of the mineral exploration sector are facing challenges raising capital and have had to reduce staff because of the impact of COVID-19.
“Programs like EIS that attract investment will be critical as Western Australia rebounds post-COVID,” Mr Pearce stated.
The EIS program provides approximately $5 million each year to encourage innovative drilling in greenfields and under-explored areas of the state.
Explorers can receive a refund of up to 50 per cent for innovative drilling projects, with caps of $150,000 (multi-hole project), $200,000 (single deep hole), and $30,000 for prospectors.
More than 900 grants have been offered since the EIS program commenced in 2009.
For more information on the EIS Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program, please visit here.