Guy Barnett,Minister for Resources
The Tasmanian Liberal Government knows that mining and minerals processing is vital for our economy and that’s why we are delivering on our 100-day commitment to extend exploration and drilling grants until 2025.
With the Tasmanian economy continuing to recover strongly from COVID-19, the mining and minerals processing sector provides a rock-solid base to further grow exports and support local jobs.
Almost 60 mineral exploration projects have now been approved for support under the Government’s Exploration Drilling Grant Initiative (EDGI) with 16 more successful proposals announced today under Round 5 of this important initiative.
Tasmanian mining and minerals processing supports more than 5,600 jobs and contributes more than $2 billion a year into the state’s economy through exports alone.
Since 2018, the EDGI initiative has provided more than $1.5 million to industry and investors to help identify new greenfield mining opportunities, as well as now supporting exploration of existing mine or mining lease sites.
The EDGI program provides up to $50,000 for direct drilling costs and $20,000 for helicopter support, if required, for successful applicants wanting to undertake mineral exploration with a view to opening viable operations.
The 16 projects announced under Round 5 will share in approximately $780,000 in funding, with 11 grants supporting greenfield exploration and five re-examining existing sites. These projects will involve more than 12 kilometres of exploration drilling.
By opening the program to existing sites we are providing the opportunity to salvage even more valuable minerals like gold, copper, zinc, tin or iron from already developed sites which would have reasonably modest restart costs and lead-in time if the exploration results prove positive.
Growing this sector will provide a vital boost for our regional communities, small businesses and families, especially in regions like the North-West Coast and West Coast.
All up, our Exploration Drilling Grant Initiative is expected to drive a 60 per cent increase in greenfield drilling to open up sites that may not have previously been economically attractive for exploration.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government continues to deliver for the mining and minerals processing sector with applications for Round 6 of the EDGI grants expected to open late this year.