- Third-highest number of applicants apply for Round 22 of EIS drilling program
- Sharp rise reflects strength of Western Australia's resources sector
A surge in applicants for the latest round of the Exploration Incentive Scheme's (EIS) Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program reflect the resilience of Western Australia's resources sector.
Ninety-six applicants submitted proposals for Round 22 of the program, the third-highest number in a round since the scheme started in 2009.
A total of $6.38 million in grants is being offered to 57 companies and prospectors selected by the McGowan Government.
More than a quarter of the successful explorers are searching for battery metals, while record prices are also making gold a popular target. Other commodities include copper, rare earth elements and potash.
Round 22 follows the McGowan Government's $5 million EIS funding boost as part of its WA Recovery Plan. The additional support will increase the EIS to $15 million in 2020-21, resulting in extra funds being available across Rounds 22 and 23.
The co-funded drilling program encourages innovative exploration in greenfields and under-explored areas of WA.
The next round of the program will open February 1, 2021.
For more information on the Round 22 applications and a map of projects, visit http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Geological-Survey/EIS-Government-co-funded-1433.aspx
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"My Government will continue to support Western Australia's exploration industry and resources sector as the State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The additional $5 million will allow more companies to participate in the co-funded drilling program and create more jobs in regional areas.
"More rigs and workers increase the odds of new resource discoveries and new mines which bring positive, long-term outcomes to local communities."
Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:
"The more than 50 per cent increase in applications between Round 21 and 22 is a great sign for WA and the future of our resources industry.
"The rise in applications and continued interest in exploration reflects Western Australia's position as a world-class investment destination for mineral resources.
"It is encouraging to see the breadth of exploration with the projects stretching from the Kimberley and Pilbara in the north, through to the Mid-West, Goldfields and Great Southern regions."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6700