Co-funding builds on exploration success

Round 11 of EIS co-funded drilling will see $4.65 million made available to 44 projects in WA.
Date: Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The latest round of co-funded drilling was announced at the AMEC convention by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion. 

The success of the State Government's Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) is set to continue, with another $4.65 million made available for drilling and prospecting projects across the State.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion announced successful applicants for Round 11 of the Co-funded Drilling Program at the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies convention.

"This is about identifying potential new mines and the jobs and opportunities they can deliver for West Australians," Mr Marmion said.

"I am particularly excited about this funding round because it comes as the first mine to be developed as a result of an EIS discovery is under construction.

"More than 500 workers are building Sirius Resources's Nova nickel project in the Fraser Range, a newly identified mineral region showing great promise, that typifies the focus of the EIS."

Now in its seventh year, this highly competitive drilling program, coordinated by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, has resulted in major discoveries, including the Nova and Camelwood nickel deposits, the Yeneena copper deposits, and the Millennium zinc and Dusk til Dawn gold discoveries.

An independently verified economic impact study recently revealed the EIS generated $10.3 million in exploration activity and more than a dozen fulltime jobs over three years, for every $1 million invested.

"But when it resulted in mine development, the study found the long-term contribution to WA's Gross State Product could be up to $23.7 million per $1 million invested," the Minister said.

The Co-funded Drilling Program refunds up to 50 per cent of direct drilling costs, with caps of $150,000 for a multi-hole project, $200,000 for a single deep hole and $30,000 for a prospector's project.

Since the EIS was introduced, co-funding has been offered to more than 550 projects, resulting in more than 350,000 metres of drilling.

By 2017 the State Government will have invested more than $130 million in the EIS since its inception in 2009.