QLD Exploration Grants Available for Innovative Drilling – Applications Closing Soon
The Queensland Government is accepting applications for funding assistance to drill test innovative exploration concepts, in an effort to increase exploration in Queensland. The Government may award a grant to meet up to half of the direct drilling costs, up to a maximum of $150,000 per approved project.
The Queensland Government commenced its Future Resources Program in 2013 with the aim of increasing exploration investment in Queensland. The Collaborative Drilling Program (CDI) is part of the Future Resources Program and will provide funding assistance to drill test innovative exploration concepts that have the potential to increase exploration investment in Queensland including expanding exploration into under-explored areas.
The CDI is offering to meet up to half of the direct drilling costs, to a maximum of $150,000, for an approved project. Direct drilling costs include any costs related to drilling and do not include costs associated with mobilisation, land access, project management, laboratory and other geo-scientific or office costs. It is proposed that successful applicants will enter into a funding deed governing the collaborative drilling initiative with the Queensland Government. Applicants may wish to engage us to advise on the terms of the deed and associated intellectual property considerations.
How to apply
The Queensland Government has prepared guidelines on proposal requirements, eligibility and assessment criteria (Guidelines).
A proposal cover sheet, application checklist and the proposed funding deed form are also available, all of which can be access at this link: http://mines.industry.qld.gov.au/mining/collaborative-drilling.htm.
In essence, a proposal must demonstrate how the applicant satisfies the ‘eligibility criteria’ which are summarised below.
1. Project must be in Qld– The funding grants may only be made for Queensland minerals, coal, petroleum, mining or geothermal exploration tenure.
2. Economic and Technical Merit– There should be demonstrable economic and technical merit in carrying out the project exploration and the drilling, such as:
a. target(s) having potential for discovery;
b. there being a likelihood of development if discoveries are made;
c. sufficient supporting evidence for target generation, including geological plans and predictive cross sections; and
d. documented regional and local geological context of concepts, including previous exploration in the project area.
3. Innovation– The proposed drilling concepts must be innovative, address significant knowledge gaps and/or critical uncertainties in key areas. That is, the applicant is seeking funding to carry out activity which:
a. tests an innovative, soundly-based, potentially economic deposit model;
b. involves drilling in new areas or regions away from significant previous exploration;
c. contributes to basic geological information such as stratigraphy, age and structural relationships;
d. resolves depth to geophysical targets or economic basement; and
e. uses innovative applications of accepted exploration technologies, or techniques, or uses credible innovative knowledge technologies or techniques for drill hole targeting.
4. Increase Exploration Activity – Proposals should have the potential to increase exploration activity in under-explored areas or increase exploration investment in Queensland.
5. Method Improvements and Quality Output– Drill method and sample quality will be considered, with diamond drilling having the highest ranking;
6. Knowledge Sharing and Publicity– Proposals with a shorter stated confidentiality period will be considered more favourable. This means it will be important to negotiate appropriate protection mechanisms and ensure intellectual property rights are secured.
7. Programs Timing – Timing of activities in the proposals must be realistic to ensure completion of drilling and delivery of final report within likely contract conditions.
Round 9 applications close at 4:30pm on 21 November 2014.
Given the current Queensland Government’s focus on supporting growth and innovation in the resources sector, we expect the program will continue and there will be further grants in the future.
This is an exciting opportunity for all exploration companies as it provides a low risk funding opportunity to kick start new projects. If you are interested in applying for a grant, at GRT Lawyers we have an experienced and specialised team capable of assisting you in order to take advantage of this new incentive.
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