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Collaborative exploration grants

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Initiatives for the exploration sector

In response to the impact of COVID-19, the Queensland Government is providing a range of relief and recovery measures for the exploration sector, including rent waivers, work program variations and exploration grants.

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.

The initiative has been boosted by $10 million over 4 financial years (until 2023–24) to help explorers discover new economy minerals and support future jobs in Queensland's resources sector.

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.

Current round (round 4) July 2020

Individual grants up to $200,000 have been awarded to 24 companies, covering 25 projects across Queensland. These grants have been awarded for exploration of high demand commodities that include new economy minerals such as cobalt, indium and rare earth elements.

Grant recipients are required to complete and report on their agreed works by 15 June 2021.

The recipients are listed below or you can view the round 4 projects on the CEI interactive map.

North Queensland

  • $170,000 to Lynd Resources to undertake deep drilling to look for silver, tin and other tech metals north of Georgetown.
  • $150,000 to Dover Castle Metals to look for silver, lead and zinc and potentially one of the highest grades of indium in Australia using diamond drilling techniques on land approximately 150km west of Cairns.
  • $190,000 to Red River Resources to undertake low-impact magnetic surveys using drones on land approximately 100km south west of Cairns to look for silver, lead, zinc and indium deposits.

North-west Queensland

  • $72,000 to Oakland Gold to undertake further drill exploration to find gold deposits in an underexplored area around 150km east of Karumba
  • $200,000 to Red Metal to use magnetotelluric survey equipment to undertake detailed mapping of some known zinc, lead and silver deposits in and around the old Century Mine near Lawn Hill.
  • $140,000 to Sector Projects to use diamond drilling technology to look for deep and high-quality deposits of copper and zinc in an area approximately 200km north of Mount Isa.
  • $180,000 to Century Mining to contribute to its magnetotelluric survey in and around the old Century Mine near Lawn Hill to help define more zinc, lead and silver deposits to potentially fast track to production by utilising existing mine and supply chain infrastructure.
  • $180,000 to Mount Cuthbert Resources to re-analyse historical surface samples for new economy minerals in an area approximately 100km north-east of Mount Isa.
  • $325,000 in total to Teck Australia for 2 projects:
    • exploring for lead, zinc and silver in Riversleigh siltstone 200km north-west of Mount Isa
    • explore and potentially re-invigorate an area approximately 200km south of Mount Isa for copper and zinc
  • $190,000 to Red Fox Resources to use diamond drilling equipment to test an area known as the Gipsy Creek Copper-Gold Project in north west Queensland.
  • $200,000 to Capricorn Copper to use gravity gradiometry techniques to survey an area approximately 100km north of Mount Isa in the hunt for copper, cobalt, lead, zinc and silver.
  • $200,000 to Minotaur Operations to employ electromagnetic survey techniques to search for large base metal and gold deposits near McKinlay in the state's north-west.
  • $200,000 to Aeon Walford Creek to explore for deep iron oxide, copper and gold (IOCG) in an area approximately 100km west of Mount Isa.
  • $200,000 to Vendetta Mining Corp to undertake deep drilling to look for zinc, silver and lead south of Cloncurry.
  • $200,000 to Mawson Queensland to undertake deep drilling targeting base metals and new economy minerals near the world-class Cannington mine.
  • $200,000 to Chinova Resources to undertake one of the nation's largest regional electromagnetic surveys of a known and relatively underexplored tech metal area approximately 250km south-east of Mount Isa near the Osborne mine.
  • $199,000 to Anglo American to use new core scanning and geochemistry techniques to analyse core samples from the Diamantina region from mineral exploration dating back to the 2000s, approximately 150km north of Bedourie.

Central Queensland

  • $184,000 to Mt Coolon Gold Mines to undertake extensive 3DIP survey over a silver and gold prospective corridor adjacent to the Mt Coolon Gold Mines inland from Mackay.
  • $120,000 to Ten Sixty Four to help undertake some deep drilling to look for gold deposits in its Monteagle Drilling Project north-west of Emerald. The deposits, if proven, could tap into the well-established supply chain in the Bowen Basin.
  • $175,000 to Longreach No.1 to complete high resolution magnetic and radiometric surveys over a 400km2 area just east of Longreach. The junior explorer will use this data to look for porphyry and epithermal copper and gold.
  • $40,000 to North X to work with CSIRO to undertake a mineral classification study of rare earth element mineralisation in the Peaks Range Volcanics, 75km north of Emerald. The study has potential to accelerate Queensland as a major rare earth producer.

Wide Bay region

  • $86,000 to Metal Bank to undertake drilling in the Wide Bay area to further explore several known targets of copper, silver, molybdenum (used to make steel alloys in engine parts), silver, lead, tellurium (a metal used to improve the strength of lead, copper and stainless steel) and zinc.
  • $85,000 to Auburn Resources to help undertake an electromagnetic survey to undertake a non-invasive search to potentially open up a parcel of land in the Wide Bay area inland from Bundaberg seeking nickel, cobalt and copper.

South-west Queensland

  • $200,000 to Earth Ray Exploration to search an area in south-west Queensland west of Cunnamulla near the Queensland and New South Wales border.

Project timelines

MilestoneDate
Round 3 final reports become publicly available 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 publicly available 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

Future rounds 2021-2023

Future rounds are scheduled to open in the following periods.

  • Round 5 – April to May 2021 (the application guidelines will be published online in early 2021)
  • Round 6 – April to May 2022
  • Round 7 – April to May 2023

CEI grants awarded

View project details on the CEI interactive map.

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 become open file and are made publicly available on the GSQ Open Data Portal. Read the timeline for release above.

The CEI interactive map has links to the GSQ Open Data Portal 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 the GSQ Open Data Portal.

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
Email: gsq@dnrme.qld.gov.au