- Mining confidence linked to rise in drilling applications
- Success stories testament to decision to extend EIS
A surge of confidence in Western Australia's mining industry is expected to boost the number of applications for Round 18 of the Exploration Incentive Scheme's (EIS) flagship co-funded drilling program.
The number of applications for Round 17 earlier this year jumped more than 20 per cent to 63, compared to 52 for Round 16 - this trend is likely to continue for Round 18.
The EIS, which has been secured by the McGowan Government, provides about $5 million a year in co-funding for innovative exploration drilling in underexplored greenfield regions.
Since the program started in 2008, 671,150 metres have been drilled at 422 projects - resulting in more than 29 discoveries.
Some of the major finds include the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine east of Norseman in 2012, and significant recent discoveries in the Eastern Pilbara and the Eastern Goldfields.
Cutting-edge EIS geoscience has also sparked new exploration, by DevEx Resources, for diamonds in Western Australia's Kimberley region.
Applications for Round 18 are now open and close at 5pm on Friday October 5, 2018.
The successful applicants will have 12 months to complete their drilling from January 1, 2019.
Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:
"The ongoing success stories from companies taking up co-funded drilling, through the EIS, confirm the McGowan Government's decision to secure funding for the scheme.
"There have been some very encouraging copper, gold and zinc discoveries in the eastern Pilbara by Antipa Minerals, Sipa Resources and Encounter Resources; and a nickel-colbalt find in the Eastern Goldfields by Great Boulder Resources.
"EIS successes help create jobs and that is the McGowan Government's number one priority."
Minister's office - 6552 6700