The Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) is a State Government initiative that aims to encourage exploration in Western Australia for the long-term sustainability of the State’s resources sector.
The EIS’ State Government initiative started in April 2009; from July 2019 the EIS will be funded at an on-going basis of $10 million per year using funds raised through Mining Tenement Rents. The main aim is to stimulate increased private sector resource exploration, leading to new mineral and energy discoveries. New discoveries in these areas will increase knowledge of the State’s geology and resources, and help increase employment opportunities. Most of the activities in the EIS are focused in underexplored greenfield regions.
EIS is managed by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) and supports five high-level programs, including:
- Co-funded Innovative Drilling Program
- Geophysical Surveys
- 3D prospectivity mapping
- Encouraging exploration through cover
- Promoting strategic research with industry
Results of completed work are freely available through the various departmental databases and the eBookshop.
An independent economic impact study into the EIS was undertaken by ACIL Allen Consulting in early 2015. The study confirmed the scheme's strong multiplier effect on the State Economy.
Co-funded Innovative Drilling Program
This program directly supports explorers in Western Australia through a competitive program which offers co-funding to innovative exploration drilling projects. Approximately $5 million per year will be allocated to the co-funded drilling. Access full details of the program including the online application system.
The EIS will also include targeted stratigraphic drilling programs, managed by the Geoscience and Resource Strategy Division of DMIRS, linked to Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) and the newly granted Mineral Exploration Cooperative Research Centre (MinEx CRC).
This program will continue to acquire high-quality geophysical data that will be available for free download from the department’s website. Capture of geophysical data began in 2009, and has resulted in coverage of the entire state with aeromagnetic and radiometric data. Future programs will include:
- Ground and airborne surveys, e.g. Airborne Electromagnetics (AEM)
- Deep crustal seismic and magnetotelluric surveys
Encouraging exploration through cover
Characterization and mapping depth of cover (regolith and/or sedimentary basins) to identify key paleosurfaces and facilitate exploration at depth. To collect and analyse geoscience data on basement rocks to understand basement evolution through time (4D mapping). Provide smarter data management to allow integration and interrogation of multiple databases to optimise drilling and targeting and allow input of real-time data. Using historical and new data to develop tools and analytical techniques for use in exploration.
3D prospectivity mapping
An integrated program of geochronology and isotopic fingerprinting, with mineral and petroleum systems analysis to develop 3D visualization and geodynamic setting to better predict and locate new deposits. The program also includes redevelopment or enhancement of geoscience databases through ‘WA Geology Online’ to ensure Western Australia maintains a world-class delivery and availability of geological datasets.
Promoting strategic research with industry
This EIS initiative is aimed at the rapid transfer of new geoscience concepts, skills and technologies into the Western Australian minerals exploration industry. Funding is provided to Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) to support its mineral and petroleum-related research throughout the State.
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