The New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling program is managed by the Geological Survey of NSW and is part of the state’s strategy to promote investment in its mining and resources sector
Explorers now have an additional $2 million incentive to search for deposits of traditional and high-tech metals across NSW, with a new round of grants to help cover the costs of exploration drilling now on offer from the NSW government.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources John Barilaro said the third funding round of the New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling program will reimburse successful applicants for up to 50 per cent of their per metre drilling costs, up to a maximum of $200 000.
The funding boost brings the total amount allocated to the program to $6 million, with applications open until 31 December 2019.
‘Our goal is to make NSW the number one state for new mineral exploration and resources investment across the nation, and we’re doing that by providing greater support for explorers and investors, and providing greater certainty for the mining sector,’ Mr Barilaro said.
The New Frontiers program is managed by the Geological Survey of NSW (GSNSW), the state’s premier geoscience agency. Dating back to 1875 and borne out of the NSW Department of Mines, the GSNSW is the oldest continuously operating government agency in NSW, reflecting the state’s long history with the mining and resources sector.
The department, based in Maitland, is charged with promoting the sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible, exploration and development of the state’s geological resources, as well as supporting informed land use decisions.
A key deliverable under the state government’s NSW Minerals Strategy, the New Frontiers program is designed to support the long-term sustainability of the NSW exploration sector by directly supporting mineral exploration for Group 1, 2, 6 and 10 minerals, particularly in greenfields areas.
The program will encourage exploration activity that will test new geological ideas and models, and/or exploration in regions under significant cover. It will also help improve understanding of NSW’s mineral resource potential, in order to fully realise the economic resource potential of the state.
‘A key deliverable under the state government’s NSW Minerals Strategy, the New Frontiers program is designed to support the long-term sustainability of the NSW exploration sector.’
Geological Survey of NSW Executive Director Dr Chris Yeats said previous rounds of the grants program proved successful, with many projects reporting positive results.
‘At the Impact Minerals Red Hill project near Broken Hill in far west NSW, the first Cooperative Drilling hole struck a 30 metre-wide zone of high-grade platinum group metals, which lead to a $5 million joint venture investment,’ Dr Yeats said.
‘Another project south of Orange in the NSW Central West intersected multiple intervals of gold mineralisation in four Cooperative Drilling holes, and in Jindabyne, in the NSW Snowy Mountain region, Cooperative Drilling holes within a recently discovered gold-arsenic quartz vein system showed a gold and copper system open in all directions.’
‘The NSW Government understands the key role that our minerals industry plays in regional NSW and the importance of mineral exploration to ensure the continued prosperity of this important industry into the future. I encourage all potential explorers to apply.’
For more information on the New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling grants program, visit www.resourcesandgeoscience.nsw.gov.au/cooperative-drilling