Successful Exploration Initiative In South Australia
Junior exploration companies will benefit from the Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) initiative, which is to co-fund selected drilling projects to stimulate the next crop of greenfield discoveries and help share in the financial risk of exploration.
South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis is calling on companies to lodge proposals for joint funding in the 2015 round of PACE Frontiers Collaborative Discovery drilling program.
The initiative is one of the ways the State Government has worked in unison with industry to invest in exploration in the long run. It has also helped establish the state’s international credentials as a destination for mineral resource investment.
The Department of State Development’s Executive Director for Mineral Resources Dr Ted Tyne said the drilling program was highly anticipated.
“During this time of global constraint in the exploration sector, industry and Government must work hard to bring forward the next discovery of projects that feeds a pipeline of future projects and mines,” Dr Tyne said.
“South Australia’s PACE co-discovery drilling program has delivered a number of significant new mineral discoveries that were unlikely to have been drilled in the absence of such a program.
“Among the success stories are: the Carrapateena copper-gold discovery; the Challenger gold mine expansion; achieving an understanding of the Four Mile geological setting; iron ore deposits on Eyre Peninsula; copper-gold and heavy mineral sands targets; through to the discovery of ground water thathas supported mining operations in the north and extension of resource estimates.
“Results have helped test new exploration models and deposit styles, and have also significantly increased understanding of the geological profile of South Australia – which in turn has stimulated international interest.”
Dr Tyne said the State Government’s commitment of $13 million during seven previous rounds over the past decade had helped leverage an industry contribution of more than $27 million.
“The PACE initiative will provide preferential funding to high quality, technically and economically sound projects that promote greenfield exploration targets.
“Grant funding for successful proposals is capped at $100, 000 and does not exceed 50 per cent of the total direct drilling costs borne by the successful applicant.”
Previous PACE collaborative drilling initiatives have supported 217 drilling programs across the State,targeting a wide range of commodities.
Companies have until 30 January to lodge project proposals, with the successful applicants to be announced in April.