The Victorian Government today announced $15 million has been committed in the 2014-15 Victorian State Budget for a new program called TARGET to drive exploration for minerals such as copper and gold in regional and rural Victoria.
Energy and Resources Minister Russell Northe said the new TARGET program would see the Government co-fund exploration work with companies searching for new mineral resources with a focus on the State’s northeast, north, west and parts of the east.
“Victoria was built on its rich mineral resources with the 1850s gold rush quickly putting our great state on the global map and driving a flourishing economy with vibrant local communities,” Mr Northe said.
“This new initiative will see the Government working with industry to drive exploration and development of new mineral resources for the benefit of all Victorians.
“We are investing now to build a strong and sustainable mining industry in Victoria that creates more jobs and makes a significant long term contribution to the economy while protecting the environment, respecting the rights of landholders and working with other key industries like agriculture.
“The quality geological data acquired through the TARGET program will help attract future investment from the mining sector and encourage further exploration in Victoria, within the context of a highly competitive global industry.”
Under the TARGET initiative, grants will be available for co-funded exploration works including drilling and geoscience surveys. An expert panel will provide advice on the granting of funds and the activities carried out under the initiative. Data captured by the Geological Survey of Victoria under the initiative will be made available online to other exploration and mining companies.
“Victoria is a great place to explore for minerals and our plan is to identify new opportunities and encourage mining and exploration companies to come and invest here,” Mr Northe said.
“The TARGET program will build on our existing $19.5 million Strengthening Earth Resources initiative to help revitalise exploration and mining in Victoria and reinforce our role as a centre for the mining equipment, technology and services sector.”