Innovative exploration drilling receives $5.14M funding boost

DMP selects 48 applicants for Round 13 of the Co-funded Drilling Program
Date: Thursday, 09 June 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has selected 48 companies and prospectors to be eligible to receive co-funding for innovative exploration drilling projects from a pool of more than $5 million.

The State Government’s offer of $5.14M in co-funding for Round 13 of the Exploration Incentive Scheme’s (EIS) highly competitive Co-funded Drilling Program was announced today by Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L’Estrange.

DMP’s Coordinator EIS Margaret Ellis said the program, now in its eighth year, had now offered co-funding to more than 640 projects.

“Successfully completed projects have resulted in more than 470,000 metres of drilling across Western Australia,” she said.

“Among the program’s successful discoveries is the Nova nickel project which will be an operating mine this year, along with gold at Alloy Resources' Horse Well project and at Gold Road Resources’ Gruyere discovery in the Yamarna greenstone belt and recent finds such as Panoramic Resources’ Savannah North nickel project and zinc at Millennium by Encounter Resources.”

The co-funded drilling program has produced more than 20 new discoveries.

Co-funded drilling applicants are selected through a transparent process subject to continuing probity audits.

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.

Refunds are made to successful applicants after completion of drilling and submission of reports which are made available to the public on the department’s WAMEX database after a six-month confidentiality period.

The department only offers EIS co-funded drilling to exploration programs. Preproduction drilling, including resource estimate and stimulation (or hydraulic fracturing) are excluded from the program.

The State Government has committed $10 million a year to the EIS until the end of June 2020.

Round 13 successful applicants and a map of their prospects are available for download from the DMP Website.