Tasmanian Budget backs exploration and diversity

exploration

The Tasmanian Government has boosted mining in its Budget for 2021-22 with further investment in the Exploration Drilling Grant initiative and the Geoscience initiative.

The former initiative will receive $1.5 million to stimulate greenfields drilling projects, while the latter will receive $2 million to better understand regional mineral systems.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett said investments of this kind were integral to the state’s economy.

“Mining is our highest value export and for all those who oppose our well-regulated industry, they have to remember that if they shut down mines, they are cutting nurses and police and teachers that are funded with the royalties,” Barnett said.

“The Budget includes $6 million to back our export businesses including delivery of the final three years of Tasmania’s first Trade Strategy.”

Round five for the Exploration Drilling Grant initiative saw approximately $780,000 go to 16 projects in drilling and exploration.

The EDGI program provides up to $50,000 for direct drilling costs and $20,000 for helicopter support.

In June, Barnett described the breadth of work being undertaken using the grants.

“These projects will involve more than 12 kilometres of exploration drilling,” he said.

“By opening the program to existing sites we are providing the opportunity to salvage even more valuable minerals like gold, copper, zinc, tin or iron from already developed sites which would have reasonably modest restart costs and lead-in time if the exploration results prove positive.”

The State Budget also allocated $450,000 to a new Diversity Action Plan which aims to increase gender and cultural diversity in forestry and mining.

The mining industry average for female employment is currently around 17 per cent.

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