Concerns have been raised over the future of Western Australia's gold sector as high exploration costs hamstring miners.
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC's) Simon Bennison explained that many of the state's operating gold mines have declining reserves and lower ore quality as they dig deeper, according to the ABC.
He added that many miners are struggling to explore in greenfields areas because of the high costs of exploration.
The major operating gold fields in Western Australia were mostly discovered in the late 1800s or early 1900s, with few new major discoveries since, although the Yarmana Greenstone Belt east of the Eastern Goldfields, and the Tropicana project.
According to the company Gold Road Resources, which owns the tenements on the region, it believes there is significant scope to discover more gold mineralisation at Yamarna given the lack of intensive historical exploration activity.
While some of the cost is offset by continuing rounds of exploration and drilling funding from the WA government, Bennison said the Federal Government must lend its support.
He went on to say that unless an exploration incentive scheme is implemented, the state's gold mining industry may not in exist in Australia in the coming decades.