Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston, has opened the twenty-sixth round of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS), and series four of the Energy Analysis Program (EAP) following on recent successes from previous rounds. 

The scheme is designed to stimulate private sector resource exploration in greenfields and less explored sites in Western Australia with its joint program, the EAP, focussing on reanalysing current data to form a better understanding of WA’s energy capabilities. Successes from the scheme provide employment opportunities; help map the geology and resources of the state, and create a strong return for investment. A 2020 report by the University of Western Australia assessed the ten-year life of the scheme to date, showing a return of $30.8 for every $1 invested.

The report also identified Western Australia as a prime location worldwide for mineral exploration and one that is consistently ranked as either the top global jurisdiction for mining or very near the top. In spite of this, underinvestment in greenfield exploration remains an issue. This scheme hopes to address this by incentivising private sector investment in exploration in WA. By global standards, discoveries in WA can lead to highly productive commercial mines. 

The EIS covers a co-funded Exploration Drilling Program (EDP) which includes targeted stratigraphic drilling programs and a co-funded energy analysis program to support petroleum and geothermal energy exploration. Other supported programmes are aimed at encouraging exploration through cover; 3D prospectivity mapping, and promoting strategic research with industry.  ra

An additional benefit to the government will be the acquisition of high-quality, freely downloadable geophysical data, available from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) website. 

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

“Mineral exploration is the core of our resources sector and the McGowan Government will continue to help companies mitigate the costs and risks associated with exploration drilling, said Mr Johnston during his address.

“Since 2017, we have provided nearly $80 million in funding for innovative programs and strategies designed to attract exploration investment,” he added. 

The scheme has led to a significant gas discovery by Strike Energy in February 2022, and the highly successful drill program by Tempest Minerals at the Meleya Project in the Murchison Region in WA. Intersections of outstanding copper and semi-massive sulphides were discovered at a site that had been left unexplored for over 20 years. Its proximity to the world-class Golden Grove Mine encouraged the company to start exploration in the vicinity. Dr Anthony Morey, Technical Advisor, said that the identification of a previously undiscovered greenstone belt at this project was a very rare and exciting occurrence. Multiple sites have since been targeted. 

Mr Johnston said that mineral expenditure in WA had reached a record $2.4 billion in 2021, which was an increase of 34 per cent on the previous year and the state accounted for 65 per cent of the nation’s mineral development. 

The EIS is funded through moneys collected through Mining Tenement Rents and has an allocation of $12.5 million a year. 



Your feedback is important to us. If you enjoyed reading this Global Road Technology industry update and found it informative, please let us know by leaving a REVIEW.