The South Australian Government says now is the time to invest in exploration projects, after granting a range of mining companies funding for exploration drilling. Twenty-seven resource exploration projects across South Australia will benefit from the co-funding initiative.
The Government expects to provide Aus$2 million in funding as part of the Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) Discovery Drilling 2015.
Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said it would enable those companies to stimulate the next crop of greenfield discoveries.
“This is the way to build our extensive knowledge of what deposits we have in South Australia, we spend a lot of money on pre-competitive data, going out doing geological surveys to try and understand where the copper is, where the uranium is, where the iron-ore is,” he said.
Despite a mining downturn, falling commodity prices and a drop in confidence, Tom Koutsantonis says now is the right time to invest. “The cyclical nature of the resource industry means when prices are down is exactly the time you go out and explore.
“It takes nearly 10 years from discovery to production so the copper mines discovered tomorrow, will be producing in 2025. That’s the type of timelines we’re looking at for this industry.”