The Federal Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) has seen broad industry coverage in the first year, with $70 million spend on greenfields exploration to the benefit of company shareholders.
The $100 million EDI fund attracted 84 applications from small exploration companies with no taxable income, with an expected flow-down of $21 million in credits to their shareholders.
Resources minister Josh Frydenberg said: “Throughout this period of lower commodity prices, the Government remains focused on implementing the initiatives and working with industry to ensure Australia’s resources sector remains strong going forward”.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive officer Simon Bennison the benefits would flow on to thousands of Australian shareholders.
“The announcement today by the Assistant Treasurer and the Minister for Resources that 84 mineral exploration companies have been successful in the first year of operation of the programme is great news,” he said.
“It vindicates the commitment and drive by AMEC to get the Coalition Government to commit to, and then implement the EDI, commencing 1 July 2014.
Bennison said a further $35 million would be available to eligible mineral exploration companies relating to the 2015/16 year, and another $40 million for the 2016/17 financial year.
“The EDI will play a part in stimulating increased investment in mineral exploration in Australia, and lead to discovering the mines of tomorrow,” he said.
“The subsequent social and economic benefits for the nation will be immense.
“AMEC has been working closely with the Australian Tax Office and the Department of Industry and Science in order to review the operation of the EDI, and looks forward to some of the initial administrative issues being remedied during a broader review.”