The Federal Government will contribute a further $100 million to extend the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) for four more years. The extension will help to ensure jobs for future generations of miners, which may not occur without additional and ongoing exploration activities.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, said the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive allows eligible companies to access tax incentives to attract new investors.
“The Coalition Government will continue to support our junior mining companies and encourage exploration and development of new resource deposits,” he said.
“We need to ensure that we have a continuous investment pipeline for development across regional Australia.”
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) welcomed the announcement.
CME Chief Executive, Paul Everingham, said the greenfield activities of junior explorers are in many ways an unseen lifeblood of the mining sector.
“The wider public is probably quite familiar with WA’s big and established mining projects – and these deserve to be celebrated for the economic, employment and community benefits they deliver for the State and, indeed, the country,” Mr Everingham said.
“But people likely aren’t as aware of the vital and wide-ranging exploration activities around WA that help pave the way for many of these projects.”
“The work of junior explorers is a major factor in ensuring we currently have and will continue to have a strong pipeline of future projects in WA,” he said.
“Gold is just one high-profile commodity that relies heavily on exploration groundwork. WA’s emerging battery materials sector also continues to benefit enormously from exploration undertaken to investigate and uncover new mineral deposits.”
Greenfields exploration is what identifies the new high-quality mineral deposits across the 80 per cent of Australia that is underexplored. Junior explorers find up to 70 per cent of deposits that form the pipeline for new projects.
To date, the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive has supported 85 junior exploration companies, with over half of these companies headquartered in Western Australia.
“The program has encouraged companies to explore for resources in untapped areas of Australia, helping to generate future development, jobs and investment in the resources sector,” Minister Pitt said.
“Extension of the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive complements the existing suite of Australian Government support for greenfield exploration, including the $225 million Exploring for the Future Program run by Geoscience Australia.”
The $125 million second phase of the Exploring for the Future Program will feature eight projects that will unlock the potential of Australia’s groundwater, energy and mineral resources across the country.