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Collaborative exploration grants

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief measures for the exploration sector

In response to the impact of COVID-19, the Queensland Government is providing a range of relief measures for the exploration sector. Find out more about the relief package, including rent waivers, work program variations and exploration initiatives.

Queensland's explorers will lead us to the next generation of projects and help us find the minerals needed to meet the demands of the world's technology and renewable sectors.

The Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) provides industry grants to:

  • encourage exploration, particularly in frontier areas
  • support innovative exploration techniques, including machine learning
  • promote the discovery and development of 'new economy' minerals.

New economy minerals include a range of metals and mineral elements in high demand for use in renewable energy and advanced technological applications.

This initiative is managed by the Geological Survey of Queensland.

Round 4 funding announced

Round 4 is now open for applications.

Up to $200,000 is available through direct grant, with no requirement for co-funding by the applicant.

Eligibility criteria

Before you begin, check that your proposal will meet all of the following eligibility criteria. If you do not meet all criteria, you cannot proceed with a proposal.

  • The proposal falls within the defined zone for funding, refer to Figure 1 in the Guideline for grant proposals: Collaborative explorative initiative (PDF, 1.2MB).
  • The proposal advances the collective understanding of Queensland's new economy mineral potential.
  • The proposal demonstrates a clear link between the exploration target and the tools chosen to test it.
  • The proposal highlights how the activity will add exploration value to Queensland.
  • The company is compliant under all applicable mining legislation.
  • The company holds public liability insurance of at least $10 million.
  • The company has the financial capability to fund proposed activities.
  • The company holds GRANTED tenure.
  • The company has assessed their ability to complete the work and is aware of the penalty for failure (see guideline for penalty details).

How to submit proposals

If you comply with all the eligibility criteria, you can now submit your proposal and apply for Round 4 CEI funding.

Note: Proposal file size must be under 10MB.

Read the the Guideline for grant proposals: Collaborative explorative initiative (PDF, 1.2MB) for specific details.

Submissions close 31 May 2020.

Submit proposal

What's new in round 4

This round has been expanded to support exploration for ALL minerals (except coal), but with particular emphasis on new economy minerals.

Eligible minerals for funding include: bauxite, cadmium, cobalt, copper, gallium, germanium, gold, graphite, indium, lithium, magnesite, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, rhenium, scandium, silica, silver tantalum, tellurium, tungsten, tin, titanium, vanadium, zinc and zirconium.

Round 4 will support existing explorers in Queensland, emphasis on the North West and North East mineral provinces, and will include non-drilling activities such as:

  • geophysics
  • geochemistry and other surveys
  • re-analysis of historical samples to include a full suite of elements
  • machine learning trials.

There are currently no further rounds of the CEI planned.

Project timelines

Round 1 final reports became open file on QDEX Reports 1 April 2019
Round 2 final reports became open file on QDEX Reports 1 April 2020
Round 3 projects completed 31 May 2020
Round 4 projects announced Mid-July 2020
Round 3 final reports due 15 June 2020
Round 3 final reports become open file on QDEX Reports 31 December 2020
Round 1 drill core submitted 1 January 2021
Round 4 projects completed 31 May 2021
Round 4 final reports due 15 June 2021
Round 4 final reports become open file on QDEX Reports 15 December 2021
Round 2 drill core submitted 1 January 2022
Round 4 drill core submitted 15 June 2022
Round 3 drill core submitted 1 July 2023

CEI grants awarded

Round 3 – February 2020

Round 3 funded under the New Economy Minerals Initiative was awarded in February 2020.

Applications for funding of up to $200,000 per project were considered. Seven companies received grants for a total of 7 projects.

The successful projects support exploration for a range of commodities including rare earth elements, vanadium, cobalt, lithium, molybdenum (+rhenium) across projects from greenfield to brownfield development status.

Supported projects cover a broad geographical area across north-east and north-west Queensland, as well as a wide range of exploration techniques, including drilling, geophysics, geochemistry (including re-assay), hydrogeochemistry and data analytics.

View the round 3 projects on the CEI interactive map.

Rounds 1 and 2 – 2017 and 2018

Rounds 1 and 2 of the CEI grants were funded under the Strategic Resources Exploration Program.

Round 2 of the program was awarded in December 2018 to 12 companies supporting a total of 15 projects. Eligible projects included drilling and non-drilling activities, such as seismic, airborne and ground geophysics, and geochemical surveys.

Round 1 of the program was awarded in December 2017. Nine projects were successfully completed by 7 companies, most focused on electrical and electromagnetic geophysical surveying.

How to access final reports and data

Once projects are completed, companies submit a final report with data and analysis. After a time, these reports are made publicly available on QDEX Reports. Read the timeline for release above.

The CEI interactive map has links to QDEX Reports for CEI projects that have been completed and are publicly available.

Collaborative drilling initiative

You can access the exploration reports from our previous grants program, the Collaborative Drilling Initiative (CDI), on QDEX Reports.

Conduct a General Search, and under the Report Type select Collaborative Drilling Initiative – Final (completed).

Maps of the projects that were supported under the program are available below for reference.

Contact us

Geological Survey of Queensland
Phone: +61 7 3096 6136