The Northern Territory government is expanding new exploration opportunities with 18 projects from 15 companies awarded grants under the latest Geophysics and Drilling Collaboration program.
A record $1.7 million in grants for the 18 projects has been provided under the program.
For the first time since the Resourcing the Territory initiative was launched, projects have also been able to access co-funding to support brownfield drilling programs.
The projects awarded funding are targeting a wide range of commodities including gold, copper, tungsten, nickel, natural gas and helium.
In brownfield exploration, geologists look for further deposits near a known mineral deposit or already operating mine. As these areas are known to have high potential for minerals and associated infrastructure, the risk in brownfield exploration is considerably lower.
Five companies have so far been awarded co-funding as part of the brownfields expansion, including Vista Gold Australia which owns the Mount Todd Mine, 55 kilometres northwest of Katherine, and was recently given the green light to recommence mining operations.
Vista Gold Australia director Brent Murdoch thanked the government for the exploration initiative.
“This is another fabulous result for the Mt Todd Mine and the successful grant is a strong validation by the Northern Territory government of the prospectivity of the Territory,” he said.
Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison said creating jobs for Territorians is the government’s number one priority.
“There are currently 20 mining projects working towards a Final Investment Decision (FID) in the Territory with a combined value of $6.2 billion and potential to create 5500 construction jobs and 3200 ongoing jobs,” she said.
“We have committed a further $9.5 million per year ongoing from 2022 to expand and turbo boost the Resourcing the Territory initiative.
“The information gained from this grants program will be vital in attracting more investment and more jobs in mineral exploration across the region.”
The successful applicants include Inca Minerals, Knox Resources, Central Petroleum, Barkly Operations, Strategic Energy Resources, King River Resources, IGO, Newcrest Mining, iCopper, Core Lithium, Prodigy Gold, Redbank Operations, Bacchus Resource, Molyhil Mining and Vista Gold Australia.