The Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) is a State Government initiative that aims to encourage exploration in Western Australia for the long-term sustainability of the State’s resources sector.
The EIS State Government initiative started in April 2009. In July 2019 the EIS was funded on an ongoing basis of $10 million per year using funds raised through Mining Tenement Rents. In July 2021 the annual allocation was raised to $12.5 million per year. The main aim is to stimulate increased private sector resource exploration, leading to new mineral and energy discoveries. New discoveries in these areas will increase knowledge of the State’s geology and resources, and help increase employment opportunities. Most of the activities in the EIS are focused in underexplored greenfields regions.
EIS is managed by the Geological Survey and Resource Strategy Division (GSRSD) within the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). It supports five high-level programs, including:
- Government-Industry Co-funded programs
- Geophysical surveys
- 3D prospectivity mapping
- Encouraging exploration through cover
- Promoting strategic research with industry
Results of completed work are freely available through the various departmental databases and the eBookshop.
Economic impact reports
Independent impact report – confirms the strong multiplier effect of the EIS on the State economy where ‘for every $1 million invested in the EIS, the long run expected net benefit to the State, in terms of higher GSP is $23.7 million’.
2019 Economic Consulting Services
Independent impact report – outlines a target of a $5 million increase in GSP for each $1 million spent was achieved for the two years the EIS was funded under the Royalties for Regions scheme.
2020 University of Western Australia
An independent economic impact report of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) for the first 10 years. Significantly, the report demonstrates that the central estimate for the total return to Western Australia per dollar invested in the EIS is $31 dollars (95% CI $18.5 to $44).
Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program
This program directly supports explorers in Western Australia through a competitive program which offers co-funding to innovative exploration drilling projects. Approximately $6 million per year will be allocated to co-funded drilling. Two Rounds run each year with a budgeted allocation of $3 million per round. Access full details of the program including the online application system.
The EIS will also include targeted stratigraphic drilling programs, managed by GSRSD within DMIRS, linked to Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) and the newly granted Mineral Exploration Cooperative Research Centre (MinEx CRC).
Co-funded Energy Analysis Program
This program directly supports exploration in Western Australia by offering co-funding to projects that assess petroleum or geothermal systems within the State. Approximately $250,000 per series will be allocated to the Co-funded Energy Analysis Program. Access full details of the program including the online application system.
This program will continue to acquire high-quality geophysical data that will be available for free download from the DMIRS website. Capture of geophysical data began in 2009, and has resulted in coverage of the entire State with aeromagnetic and radiometric data. Future programs will include:
- ground and airborne surveys, e.g. Airborne Electromagnetics (AEM);
- deep crustal seismic and magnetotelluric surveys.
Encouraging exploration through cover
The aims are to:
- characterise and map depth of cover (regolith and/or sedimentary basins) to identify key paleosurfaces and facilitate exploration at depth;
- collect and analyse geoscience data on basement rocks to understand basement evolution through time (4D mapping);
- provide smarter data management to allow integration and interrogation of multiple databases to optimise drilling and targeting and allow input of real-time data; and
- use historical and new data to develop tools and analytical techniques for exploration.
3D prospectivity mapping
This provides an integrated program of geochronology and isotopic fingerprinting, with mineral and petroleum systems analysis to develop 3D visualization and geodynamic setting to better predict and locate new deposits. The program also includes redevelopment or enhancement of existing GSWA’s geoscience databases through WA Geology Online to ensure Western Australia maintains world-class delivery and availability of geological datasets.
Promoting strategic research with industry
This EIS initiative is aimed at the rapid transfer of new geoscience concepts, skills and technologies into the Western Australian minerals exploration industry. Funding is provided to Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) to support its mineral and petroleum-related research throughout the State.
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