The Northern Territory Government has announced a new $26 million Resourcing the Territory initiative that is a $2.2 million increase and four year extension of the Creating Opportunities for Resource Exploration (CORE) program. The successful CORE program was due to end on 30 June, 2018.
However, according to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), the re-announcement of this funding of this important program does not offset the royalty pain delivered in the recent Budget.
“The NT needed the Resourcing the Territory initiative before the royalty pain announced in the Budget,” said Warren Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, AMEC.
“Now the industry really needs this funding, to support marginal greenfields mineral exploration.”
“Greenfields mineral exploration leads to the discovery of new mines.”
“Each new mine discovered will create jobs, growth and revenue for local communities.”
“This program will have benefits wider than the mining and mineral exploration industry. Independent research into the Western Australian scheme demonstrated a 10:1 return and a separate evaluation of the similar South Australian PACE initiative (Plan for Accelerating Exploration) between 2004 and 2013 showed that an investment in precompetitive geoscientific data and collaborative drilling programmes provided returns on investment of over 20:1.”
“The benefits from the Resourcing the Territory Initiative will extend far beyond the mining and mineral exploration sector and lead to more jobs, revenues and growth in associated sectors.”
“Unfortunately following the changes to the royalty rate, the NT has cemented its place as the highest cost jurisdiction in Australia, so while this program is desperately needed, the Government must analyse the cost of doing business in the NT if they want more investment,” said Mr Pearce.