PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Victorian government has freed up a further A$5.5-million under its A$15-million TARGET Mineral Exploration Initiative, to encourage investment in the region.
Resources Minister Tim Pallas said on Wednesday that the co-funded grants would be available to 11 exploration licence holders.
“We’re helping kick-start a new mining boom in western Victoria that could cement Victoria’s reputation as a leading destination for the minerals exploration and mining sector,” Pallas said.
“The Victorian government is partnering with explorers to create a new wave of high-quality jobs and direct investment across western Victoria.”
The TARGET grants cover up to half of the cost of eligible exploration activities, including geophysical surveys, drilling and sampling analysis, with the companies funding the balance.
The grants are targeted towards exploration for copper and other base metals, as well as gold, but excludes exploration for coal, oil and gas.
Pallas said that all successful tenderers would need to work closely with local communities to ensure minerals exploration was balanced with other land uses and that landholders were comfortable with the required activities.
About $3.5-million in TARGET grants have been awarded in the past two years to 15 projects.
Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Victoria’s minerals exploration expenditure increasing by 79% for the year to March, compared with 27% nationally, having more than trebled since December 2014.