The Australian Government’s 2016-17 Budget brings a boost for Geoscience Australia through funding of a new program, Exploring for the Future, to map minerals, energy and groundwater potential in northern Australia and South Australia.
Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg announced the program, saying that it aims to deliver a boost to the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s resources sector.
Geoscience Australia will deliver the $100 million program over the next four years, producing an integrated resources prospectus for key targeted regions in northern Australia and parts of South Australia. These areas have been selected based on gaps in data and knowledge for minerals, energy and groundwater resources.
Geoscience Australia will receive an extra $100 million to try to re-energise the mining sector with the money to be spent on mapping mineral, energy and groundwater potential in northern Australia and South Australia.
Geoscience Australia estimates around 80 per cent of Australia remains under-explored, in particular the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
Those states, which have born the brunt of the mining downturn in recent years, will be the focus of the initiative which is aimed at improving Australia’s long term exploration prospects including trying to help address the decline in new exploration which has taken a tumble since the end of the mining boom.