Collaborative exploration grants

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

  • encourage investment in under-explored and strategic parts of north Queensland
  • support innovative exploration techniques.

The initiative is managed by the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ).

Applications now open

Applications are now open for the next round of CEI grants as part of the New Economy Minerals Initiative (NEMI).

This round encourages the exploration of new economy minerals in newly expanded geographic areas of Queensland.

Eligible new economy minerals include cobalt, gallium, germanium, graphite, indium, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, rhenium, scandium, silver, tantalum, tungsten, tin, titanium, and vanadium.

Applications close 7 February 2020.

The NEMI funding includes provision of $3.5 million to undertake further rounds of the CEI over the next 5 years, including up to $700,000 in the current 2019–20 financial year.

Applications for CEI funding for amounts up to $200,000 per project will be considered.

Due to tighter than usual timeframes for this round of CEI applications, proposals should be for projects that can be completed and reports submitted on or before 15 June 2020.

How to apply

For information and guidance on the application requirements, please refer to the guideline for grant proposals (PDF, 663KB).

  1. Complete the relevant form for your drilling or non-drilling proposal:
  2. Submit your form, along with supporting documents, to GSQ via by 7 February 2020.

Applicants must be the current tenement holder, and must guarantee that the project will be completed by 15 June 2020, in order to be eligible for CEI funding.

For more information, please email us at

Project considerations

The geographic area covered by the 2020 round of CEI projects will run from the Northern Territory border near Camooweal, through to Townsville.

The following projects will be considered:

  • projects that are novel and innovative, and contribute to better delineation of the distribution, quantity and quality of new economy minerals
  • projects that may include re-analysis of existing samples where historical assays failed to include a full suite of elements, including new economy minerals—this may apply to both greenfields and brownfields settings
  • CEI projects that may include drilling or geophysical surveys, as in previous rounds, but with a focus on new economy mineral targets
  • development of new datasets, algorithms or understanding acquired through advanced analytics, such as machine learning.

Subsequent rounds of CEI grants are proposed to be offered for 2020–21 and 2023–24.

Previous CEI grants awarded under Rounds 1 and 2

The CEI grants Rounds 1 and 2 were awarded under the Strategic Resources Exploration Program.

Eligible projects included drilling and non-drilling activities, such as seismic, airborne and ground geophysics, and geochemical surveys.

By co-funding exploration activity with industry, the CEI grants stimulate private sector investment in under-explored parts of the North West Queensland Minerals Province (PDF, 200KB). Through collaborative, innovative exploration, we aim to expand our shared knowledge of the geological foundations and resource potential of the region.

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. View the interactive map of Round 1 projects.

Round 2 of the program was awarded in December 2018 to 12 companies supporting a total of 15 projects. View the map of Round 2 projects (PDF, 804KB).

How to access final reports

Click on the maps below to view the company names and tenure locations:

QDEX Reports numbers are also available for the final reports for Round 1 projects that have been completed, and are publicly available.

Project timelines

Round 1 final reports become open file on QDEX Reports 1 April 2019
Round 2 final reports become open file on QDEX Reports 1 April 2020
Round 1 drill core submitted 1 January 2021
Round 2 drill core submitted 1 January 2022

When the projects are completed, the companies will submit a final report with data and analysis. These reports will become publicly available on QDEX Reports.

You can access the exploration reports from previous grant programs on QDEX Reports. Conduct a General Search, and under the Report Type select Collaborative Drilling Initiative – Final (completed).

Maps of supported projects under the Queensland Government's previous exploration grants programs are below for reference.

Contact us

Geological Survey of Queensland
Phone: +61 7 3096 6136