03/04/2009 - 15:14

State launches $80m exploration program

03/04/2009 - 15:14

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The state government's $80 million initiative to increase mineral and petroleum exploration will include six different programs including a co-funded program with industry for innovative drilling technologies.

State launches $80m exploration program

The state government's $80 million initiative to increase mineral and petroleum exploration will include six different programs including a co-funded program with industry for innovative drilling technologies.

 

The announcement is below:

 

The State Government today launched an $80million Royalties for Regions initiative to boost mineral and petroleum exploration in Western Australia and aid in the discovery of valuable new deposits.

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls and Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore announced the incentive scheme in Kalgoorlie today.

The Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) aimed to encourage exploration throughout the State's greenfield and frontier areas during the next five years.

It would significantly increase the knowledge of the State's geology and resources and raise employment opportunities.

Mr Moore said the EIS would encourage exploration and ensure the long-term sustainability of WA's resources industry.

"The current economic downturn has seen a decline in global commodity prices and reduced exploration activity in the last six months," he said.

"Although WA still leads national expenditure, with mineral exploration worth $343million and petroleum exploration worth $799million for the last quarter, the Government is committed to identifying new opportunities and ensuring the future prosperity of our resources sector."

The Minister said the EIS would comprise six different programs, including improving the online exploration application process; promoting strategic research with industry; and undertaking a series of surveys to gather more information on WA's geology.

"A co-funded drilling program between Government and industry will also occur and provide support for innovative drilling by companies and research groups in greenfield areas," he said.

"The drilling program will preferentially fund projects that promote new exploration concepts and technologies."

Mr Moore said the EIS was also aimed at providing an integrated online system for customised geoscience maps and reports and building sustainable working relationships with indigenous communities.

He said the EIS was aligned with objectives set out in the State Government's Royalties for Region policy, which provided the funding for the scheme.

Mr Grylls was confident the initiative would enhance the development of regional infrastructure, facilitate strategic regional projects and increase the ability to maintain and build capacity in this vital regional industry.

"The EIS is a strong example of how committed the State Government is to ensuring that residents in regional areas can continue to develop their communities with confidence and improve their quality of life," Mr Grylls said.

"The investment by Royalties for Regions in a wide range of regional programs, infrastructure and services will help build a strong economy and see ongoing benefits flow to regional communities."

The EIS was launched at the official opening of the State Government's Kalgoorlie Regional Complex, which will service the Goldfields resource sector.

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