While some say the mining boom is coming to a close, a new boost of grants has been announced for exploration across Western Australia just this week.
An extra $5 million in funding is now available to explorers across the state for 2013 drilling operations, mines and petroleum minister, Norman Moore, said at the opening of the Association of Mining Exploration Companies’ Convention 2012.
This will be funded by Royalties for Regions and is in addition to $27 million grants to 250 projects since 2009.
“The program has been hugely popular because it offers co-funding of up 50 per cent of direct drilling costs. For example, funding for a single hole application is capped at a maximum of $200,000,” said Mr Moore of the effect of the boost.
“But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, considering the State Government will have provided around $138million to explorers as part of the program, come 2016.”
While he admitted that there has been much “speculation about the mining ‘boom’ ending” and that investment cycles aren’t always “smooth sailing”, the long term outlook is strong.
“This State will continue to be the engine room to the rest of the nation - you only have to look at the $107billion generated by our resources industry in 2011 to realise that,” he said.