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 $130 million initiative, initially supported by Royalties for Regions, is being funded from April 2009 to June 2017. 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 Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and supports five high-level programs, including:
- exploration facilitation
- innovative drilling promotion
- geophysical and geochemical surveys
- 3D prospectivity mapping
- strategic research with Industry
Results of completed work are freely available through the various departmental databases and the eBookshop.
For a list of publications and project results see Product and service outputs from the EIS to January 2015.
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.
The transparency of the online minerals tenement application processes has been significantly improved, with funding from the EIS. Ongoing enhancements made to web-based tenement management systems help facilitate online applications, especially related to approvals tracking.
The enhancements achieved the following:
- integration of the environmental application and approval process into the minerals tenement management systems
- provision of comprehensive tracking of tenement applications through the various approval stages, with online access to metrics by stakeholders
- facilitation of online lodgement and processing of tenement applications and associated reporting obligations.
Innovative drilling promotion
This program directly supports explorers in Western Australia through a competitive program which offers co-funding to innovative exploration drilling projects. Access full details of the program including the online application system.
Geophysical and geochemical surveys
The Geophysical and geochemical surveys flagship program EIS has supported the capture of vast amounts of geophysical data in Western Australia since 2009.
The program includes airborne magnetic and radiometric, deep crustal seismic and regional gravity and geochemical surveys.
3D prospectivity mapping
Funding from this program continues to create enhancements to WA Geology Online, Western Australian Petroleum Information Management System (WAPIMS), as well as the Geochemical, Mineral Drillhole Information, and Geological Mapping and Interpretation databases.
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.
It involved the placement of three embedded researchers, employed through the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), into company exploration teams within greenfield areas. Overall, the Western Australian Regional Researcher Initiative helped promote the flow of information between research teams and industry sponsors, and created a two-way training process for industry professionals and researchers.
Increased funding is also provided to Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), formerly Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia (MERIWA), to support its mineral and petroleum-related research throughout the State.
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