EXPLORERS can now apply for funding to offset the cost of drilling in uncharted areas of the Northern Territory.

The grants are aimed at increasing exploration in the Territory, with the program providing collaborative funding for the costs of drilling in areas where there is a lack of geological information.

The Geophysics and Collaborations program is part of the $26 million Resourcing the Territory initiative.

Co-funding of up to 50 per cent is provided to a maximum of $125,000 for diamond drilling programs and $100,000 for non-diamond drilling programs and geophysical surveys.

“The cores will be kept by the NT Government for further analysis and made available to other explorers for analyse,” a Department of Primary Industry and Resources statement read.

Total funding for the program has increased from $750,000 to $1 million this year and also includes non-diamond drilling programs eligibility for the first time.

The program has been re-designed to maximise local industry participation by making service and supply by NT-based companies eligible for co-funding.

Applications close on 24 May, 2018 and is on offer for programs undertaken in 2018. For more information, click here.

It comes after AMMA joined industry groups earlier this month in questioning why the Northern Territory would jeopardise investment by imposing a royalty hike on miners.

Data helps discover copper hotspots

SURVEY data has produced promising results for one of the world’s most valuable and sought-after commodities at a largely unexplored section of the Queensland-Northern Territory border.

The latest Northern Australian Geochemical Survey (NAGS) data revealed the potential copper “hot-spots” in new data released by the Australian Government.

In a statement, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the data underpinned mineral, agriculture, and environmental resource management between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa.

“Tennant Creek and Mount Isa are the pre-eminent mineral resource hubs for the Northern Territory and Queensland. The region between them is a vast prospective exploration frontier that has been largely unexplored,” he said.

Minister Canavan said surface soil samples were collected at 776 sites in this region and analysed for their metal content. The data reveal new potential for elements such as copper, zinc and nickel.

He described copper as one of the world’s most valuable and sought-after commodities, used in building and construction, but also in devices that benefit our everyday lives, such as electric car batteries, solar panels and mobile phones.

The data is vital to stimulating more exploration activity across Northern Australia.

Additional data from this region, including from an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey, will be released later this year to collect additional data from the region, followed by a targeted stratigraphic drilling program in late 2019, to increase understanding of the area’s resource potential.