Western Australia provides $4.93 million funding package for nickel and gold exploration

64 applications have already been reviewed for the co-funded drilling programme in the Eastern Goldfields

The Western Australian Government will release AUD $4.93 million (£2.6m, USD$3.3m) of funding for nickel and gold exploration in the Eastern Goldfields.

Australia's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has already reviewed 64 applications for the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) co-funded drilling programme for 41 successful projects.

A third of the applicants are searching for battery commodities, dominated by nickel or nickel-cobalt exploration. Others are looking for vanadium and lithium.

Applicants that list potash as their exploration target are now also a regular occurrence for co-funding, the Western Australian Government said.

“It’s great to see such a diverse range of battery and traditional minerals, such as base metals and gold, with gold experiencing a strong market value this past financial year,” said Bill Johnston, minister for Western Australian Mines and Petroleum.

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Since the initiative started in 2009, the EIS drilling programme has offered funding to more than 940 projects resulting in more than 800,000 metres of drilling across the state.

Since July 2019 the EIS has been funded at an on-going basis of $10 million (£5m, USD$6.8m) per year using funds raised through Mining Tenement Rents.

The next round of the programme will open in February 2020.

FURTHER READING: Australia seeks to develop reserves of rare earth minerals

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