Mines Minister Kevin Minson said today Western Australia's $14 billion-a-year minerals and petroleum industries would benefit by more than $10 million from yesterday's State Budget.
Mr Minson said he was pleased the Government was able to provide support for the on-going regional geoscience investigation program in WA.
Funding allocations included $2.5 million to boost regional mapping and associated work and $3 million to continuing assistance in the search for petroleum in onshore areas of the State.
The Minister said the latest allocations were part of an on-going plan to stimulate mineral exploration.
"Exploration is a vital part of resource development - it is the base of the mining tree and by creating greater interest in mineral exploration, new mining projects will develop creating yet more jobs and providing a general boost to the State's economy," he said.
"It should be remembered that the minerals and petroleum industry in WA provides more than 36,000 direct jobs and contributes more than 70 per cent of the State's export income.
"It is one of the foundation industries underpinning WA's strong economy."
Mr Minson said industry outlaid about $700 million annually on exploration and the Government was keen to assist by providing some of the basic research tools such as maps and other geological information.
"The Government began its regional mapping initiative soon after gaining office in 1993," the Minister said.
"Since then an additional $7.5 million has been spent on regional mapping and similar geoscience investigation work. Another $45. Million has been allocated to drilling and field work linked to onshore petroleum investigations."
"Another $12.5 million has been earmarked for this type of work between now and June 2000."
Further Budget allocations include:
+ $1.8 million on the development of an electronic mineral title system known as MiTiS for the Department of Minerals and Energy;
+ $1.8 million towards regional geological mapping in the East Kimberley, geology and mineralisation studies within the Lennard Shelf, and studies to increase petroleum and mineral prospecting in the Kimberley region;
+ $1.5 million towards regional geological and geophysical mapping and studies to increase mineral prospecting in the Pilbara;
+ $1.8 million towards studies to increase petroleum prospecting studies in the Carnarvon region;
+ $2 million towards regional and geophysical mapping in the Glengarry, Gascoyne and Bangemall areas of the East Murchison as well as studies to increase mineral prospecting;
+ $1.7 million towards regional and geophysical mapping in the Eastern Goldfields, including studies to increase petroleum prospecting in the Savory/Officer basins;
+ $7000,000 for regional geophysical mapping in the Menzies-Laverton areas and regional mineralisation studies in the Gindalbie areas;
+ $600,000 for regional and geophysical mapping around Southern Cross;
+ $86,000 to complete the new Meekatharra Mining Registrar's office and Magistrates' chambers; and -
+ $25,000 for roadwork improvements at the Kalgoorlie Explosives Reserve.
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