WA government funding to boost exploration drilling


Exploration companies can apply for Western Australian Government assistance with round 24 of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) co-funded drilling program and series 2 of the co-funded Energy Analysis Project (EAP) program now open.

The competitive grants program offers refunds of up to 50 per cent for innovative exploration drilling and EAP projects, capped at specific amounts.

At the completion of the program’s round 21 across the 2020-21 financial year, 69 per cent of projects with EIS funding completed drilling, exceeding the historical average of 59 per cent.

The EIS will offer $5.25 million in co-funding to WA projects with a third of the previously successful applicants searching for battery minerals.

The EAP program encourages exploration of petroleum and geothermal resources using existing state resources including drill core, sidewall core and cuttings, and existing data.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining industry had demonstrated its resilience in maintaining its role as the major contributor to Western Australia’s economy.

“Exploring for these minerals and commodities ensures Western Australia stays at the forefront of mineral exploration,” he said.

“Western Australia is a major employer of people in the mining industry, with more than 140,000 workers. It’s integral the McGowan Government continues to support exploration.”

At the conclusion of round 23 applications, $6.3 million was offered in co-funding drilling grants, including an additional $1.3 million from the government’s WA Recovery Plan, and $261,000 for EAP projects throughout Western Australia.

The grants are paid to successful applicants in two tranches. Once the drilling project is completed, explorers are eligible for a refund of 80 per cent of the grant on submission of the interim report, with the final 20 per cent refund available on submission of the final report.

Applications for the latest round of grants close at 4pm Friday 27 August 2021.

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