The Victorian Coalition Government has announced the appropriation of $15 million in the Victorian State Budget for a new program called TARGET, which is aimed at boosting exploration of gold and copper in regional and rural Victoria.
According to the media release by the Premier of Victoria, the Government will co-fund exploration work as part of the program 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. 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,” Energy and Resources Minister Russell Northe said.
“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.”
The new TARGET program will award grants for co-funded exploration works including drilling and geoscience survey. All data gathered by the Geological Survey of Victoria under the initiative will be made available online to other exploration and mining companies. An expert panel will advise on the granting of funds and the activities undertaken under the initiative.
“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.”