Gold Targets Popular with Aussie Cofunded Drill Program

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"Australia's drill program provides up to 50% of drilling costs."

Ministerial Media Statements, Norman Moore, Minister for Mines

The State Government's current round of the Cofunded Exploration Drilling Program shows that gold remains the most sought after commodity, featuring in 49% of applications.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said programs such as this gave companies an extra incentive to drill in underexplored areas, which was the key to the continuity of Western Australia's robust mining industry future.

"Again gold was the commodity that featured in most successful applications with 26 projects listing it as the main target, or as one of the commodities sought," Mr Moore said.

"Gold was followed by copper in 17 projects, nickel in 10 and iron for nine projects. Other commodities being explored include platinum group elements, zinc, lead, uranium and manganese.

This application round, which closed on March 25, resulted in 53 successful applications. Applications included nine from prospectors for drilling programs which will be undertaken between July 2011 and the end of June 2012.

General applicants will share in $4.5M while prospectors are being offered $196,000.

The Cofunded Industry Drilling Program provides cofunding of up to 50% of direct drilling costs with caps of $150,000 for a multi-hole project, $200,000 for a single deep hole and $30,000 for a prospector's project. Payment is made to successful applicants after the completion of their drilling programs.

Another round of cofunded drilling will be advertised from August 2011—calling for applications in September-October 2011 for projects to be undertaken between January 2012 and the end of December 2012.

The cofunded Industry Drilling Program is part of the five year $80million Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) funded out of the Royalties for Regions Initiative, which the Western Australian Government announced in April 2009 to stimulate innovative exploration drilling in underexplored areas of the State. The program is administered by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

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