The Australian government announced that it will contribute A$100 million to extend the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive four more years. The program allows eligible companies to access tax incentives to attract new investors.
“The Coalition Government will continue to support our junior mining companies and encourage exploration and development of new resource deposits,” Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, said in a media statement. “We need to ensure that we have a continuous investment pipeline for development across regional Australia.”
Pitt pointed out that the Australian resource sector directly employs 260,000 people and that it can provide the world with secure supply chains and manufacturing opportunities for rare earths and critical minerals that are vital in the production process of tech, clean energy and medical applications.
The Minister also said that, to date, the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive has supported 85 junior exploration companies, with over half of these companies headquartered in Western Australia.
The figures were complemented by Tania Constable, CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, who issued a statement welcoming the new funding and pointing out that mining generates A$270 billion in export revenue, directly and indirectly supports 1.1 million jobs and contributes A$39 billion in royalties and taxes to both federal and state governments.
“Ongoing government support to attract greater investment in early-stage greenfield exploration programs is vital to the industry’s future success,” Constable said. “The Junior Mineral Exploration Incentive along with the government’s recent commitment to continue funding Geoscience Australia’s highly successful Exploring for the Future Program are key steps to ensuring Australia not only improves its exploration performance but remains competitive as an investment destination.”