The Federal Government has announced that it will be investing a further $125 million in an exploration-stimulation program that will expand its reach to cover the whole of Australia.
The Government’s investment adds to the $100 million previously spent on Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program to drive investment, generate jobs and secure the future of the resources sector.
The EFTF program uses a series of cutting-edge geoscientific techniques to map the geological structures at unprecedented scale and detail.
This freely available information creates a better understanding of Australia’s mineral, energy and groundwater systems and helps to realise Australia’s economic potential.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said that expanding the program would deliver immediate and long-term benefits to multiple sectors, including resources and agriculture.
“Investments in the resources sector are investments in jobs and opportunity, especially in regional Australia,” Minister Pitt said.
“The Australian Government is focused on creating new jobs to help Australia recover from impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our resources sector has been the standout performer over the last few months, continuing to operate safely during these unprecedented times.”
“This program will help deliver the next round of investment and job creation in our world-leading resources sector.”
Minister Pitt said that over the past four years, the EFTF has worked across northern Australia to deliver world-leading data about the region’s mineral, energy and water resource potential to industry, government and communities.
“We are confident of the long term impacts of the existing program, with independent analysis of the first half the program, indicating it could deliver just over $2.5 billion in economic benefits and jobs in northern Australia.”
Even though Australia is known for its world-class mineral resources sector, approximately 80 per cent of Australia’s subsurface remains largely underexplored .
The Chamber of Mineral and Energy of Western Australia’s (CME) Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the program’s detailed mapping of geological structures to identify potential mineral deposits would help facilitate a new wave of exploration activity across Western Australia.
“Exploration is the lifeblood of future resource development,” Mr Everingham said.
“Without ongoing investment in exploration activities, many resources would remain undiscovered, stifling the growth and prosperity of the sector and the economy into the future, risking employment, investment and government revenue.”
“The long-term future of the resources sector in Australia requires a healthy pipeline of active exploration of the State, however this is costly and capital intensive.”
“Programs that assist in the exploration process such as EFTF are critical in helping resources companies to explore greenfields areas and facilitate new mineral discoveries in uncharted regions,” he commented.
 Geoscience Australia 2020.