The Western Australian Government has announced it will continue funding the $10 million a year Exploration Incentive Scheme, following a 40 per cent increase in mineral exploration applications.
The scheme consists of a number of programs that promotes resource exploration in Western Australia, particularly on greenfields areas and frontier petroleum basins.
It provides refunds, up to 50 per cent, for innovative exploration drilling projects to a value of more than $150,000.
The Exploration Incentive Scheme has contributed to at least 25 new discoveries.
For every $1 million invested by the Government towards major new projects, the scheme generates $10.3 million in exploration activities and creates 48 jobs over 18 years.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety received a 40 per cent increase in the number of mineral exploration (Programme of Work) applications during the March and June quarters of 2017, compared to the last half of 2016.
A total of 7,584 mining and petroleum applications were received during the 2016-17 financial year, including 2,232 Programme of Work applications.
Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston, said, “Western Australia’s mineral industry is in its best shape since 2012 – in the first half of 2017, there were 15 mineral initial public offerings on the ASX, four more than 2016.
“The surge of investor interest in gold and battery metals, lithium, graphite and cobalt, is helping Western Australia to emerge more rapidly from the equity funding doldrums.”