Exploration Incentive Scheme funds 43 drilling programs

A total of $5.26 million offered to 43 drilling programs under the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) flagship Co-funded Exploration Drilling program
Date: Monday, 28 August 2017

After a successful outcome to the review of the Royalties for Regions funded Exploration Incentive Scheme, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has released the successful applicants for Round 15 of the Co-funded Exploration Drilling program, the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) flagship program.

A total of $5.26 million will be offered to 43 drilling projects to be drilled in the 2017-18 financial year and applies to successful projects drilled since the beginning of July 2017.

Coordinator of the EIS Margaret Ellis, said the Round 15 announcement had been delayed while the EIS funding was reviewed along with all other Royalties for Regions funded programs.

“The State Government has supported the continuation of the Exploration Incentive Scheme with new funding of $10 million a year to the EIS to come from Royalties for Regions from July 2017 to June 2019,” she said.

“The highly competitive program offers two rounds of co-funding a year, with this being the fifteenth round of offers made to resource explorers since the EIS, which consists of five programs, commenced in 2009.”

About half of the total $10 million in EIS funding is assigned each year to a number of precompetitive regional geoscience data and collaborative research activities which are vital to support explorers develop more sophisticated and innovative exploration programs by improving the understanding of WA geology particularly at depth.

“Programs, such as the precompetitive geoscience data generated by the EIS and supported by the co-funded drilling, provide important geological knowledge which is key to the continuity of  a strong resources sector for WA,” Ms Ellis 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.

“Successful applicants receive refunds when drilling is completed and reports are submitted to DMIRS, which are released publically on the department’s WAMEX and WAPIMS databases after a six month confidentiality period.”

To date the program has supported more than 560,000 metres of drilling.

An Economic Impact Study released early in 2015 shows that the $10.3M of exploration activity is generated for every $1M spent by the EIS. The longer term benefit to the State in terms of higher GSP is expected to be $23.7M.    

Among the significant success stories are the Camelwood nickel discovery, the Yeneena copper deposit, Millenium zinc and the Dusk Til Dawn gold discovery, as well as deep gold at Gruyere and the nickel discovery at Emily Ann near Lake Johnson.

The Nova discovery was supported by EIS geophysics data and by co-funding in 2011-12, and is the first mine developed.

Another round of co-funded drilling will be open from mid-September 2017, with applications being called for projects to be undertaken between January 2018 and the end of December 2018.

The list of successful Round15 applicants and a map showing the distribution of projects is available for download from the DMIRS website.