More than $145,000 in grants have been awarded to four companies to search for gold, copper and other mineral resources in western Victoria, Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney announced today.
”We are standing up for Victorian jobs by driving investment in communities across Victoria and that’s why we are supporting companies search for undiscovered resources below Victoria’s surface,” Ms Tierney said.
“BCD Metals, a subsidiary of BCD Resources (formerly Beaconsfield Gold), has been offered a grant of $66,000 to explore for gold in an area about 10 kilometres south of Ararat.
“BCD Metals is one of the success stories from the first round of funding, finding a promising copper prospect in the Hamilton area. The company has now received grants in all three rounds to assist continued exploration in areas where they have made recent discoveries.
“DMS has been offered a grant of $50,000 to carry out gold exploration in the Wimmera.
“Navarre Discovery has been offered a grant of $17,000 to explore for copper, gold and potentially nickel at a site west of Horsham.
“Austpac has been offered a grant of $14,000 to explore for gold in locations to the east of Horsham.”
Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said the grants were part of the third round of funding for the $2.5 million Rediscover Victoria Drilling project.
“A total of $700,000 in grants will be shared by 12 companies, with grants being offered to geothermal companies as well as mineral exploration projects for the first time,” he said.
“This funding round received the strongest level of industry interest to date, with a total of 44 applications received. We have more than doubled the number of grants offered this round compared to the first round of grants in early 2008.
“This record level of interest is a vote of confidence in Victoria as a successful investment destination with a wealth of untapped resources.
“We know the exploration phase often holds the most risk for resource exploration companies. These grants encourage drilling in areas where little exploration has occurred.
“Information generated during the exploration activities will also contribute to the development of a state-of-the-art 3D geological model of Victoria.
“The earth resources industry is vital to the Victorian economy, contributing more than $5 billion each year. “
(Audio files are available at http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/newsroom/