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Exploration grants

The Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations program co-funds innovative industry geoscience to encourage exploration in under explored areas across the Northern Territory.

Round 14 co-funding recipients have now been announced.

The Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations (GDC) program is funded by the Resourcing the Territory initiative and aims to increase the intensity of exploration drilling and geophysics in under explored areas of the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) administers the GDC program which awards approximately $1 million in exploration grants annually, to be shared between the successful applicants. A record $1.7 million in grants have been committed in 2021/22.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for co-funding for drilling and geophysical acquisition projects where the outcomes are expected to improve geological knowledge and mineralisation targeting within a region, particularly at depth.

For further information about the GDC program including guidelines, go to GrantsNT.

Review all successful projects in previous rounds.

Contact us
Phone: 08 8999 5424

The GDC program provides co-funding assistance for half of the eligible direct program costs capped at:

  • $125,000 for selected greenfields diamond drilling programs, and
  • $100,000 for selected brownfields diamond drilling, greenfields reverse-circulation (RC) drilling and geophysical acquisition programs.

All amounts specified throughout are inclusive of GST.

Projects that seek to use innovative exploration tools or to obtain geological information at depth are encouraged to apply. Applications that use integrated or new technologies that test a clear, targeted geological problem may be considered for smaller prospect-scale programs.

RC drilling will be considered in pure greenfields areas where evidence can be provided that no other drilling has been conducted in the area and a completely untested geological model is being investigated. Applicants are competitively assessed by an expert panel against specific assessment criteria.

Information gained from the successful projects will become open file and released to the public six months after the completion of field work to encourage further exploration.

The Territory Supplier Incentive offers an additional $10,000 of co-funding per project to engage Northern Territory (NT) enterprises to complete works in the NT.

To find out more about the GDC program, please read the GDC guidelines available for download in 'supporting documents' from GrantsNT.

Please note: Closing date has been changed from Monday 3 May 5pm to Tuesday 4 May 5pm. The previous date will still be listed in round 14 guidelines.

Round 14 eligibility criteria has been expanded to include:

  • Brownfields diamond drilling with the aim to provide additional support to companies to increase exploration activity and drive project development.
    • Criteria will allow deep drilling near or below known deposits or drilling to test targets adjacent to known mineral deposits.
  • Higher resolution geophysical acquisition for regional* scale surveys.
    • Line kilometre spacing reduced from 100m to 50m minimum.
    • Grid station spacing from 1km to 500m minimum.
  • Exemptions for round 13 projects to re-apply for round 14, if withdrawn due to COVID-19 related delays. Re-submitted applications will be competitively ranked against all round 14 applicants. Prior to re-submitting an application, please contact the collaborations grant manager.

Revisions to round 14 guidelines and eligibility criteria have been made in direct response to the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission recommendations and the continuing COVID-19 situation.

For further information on the eligibility criteria and project specific assessment criteria, please read the GDC guidelines available for download in 'supporting documents' from GrantsNT.

* NTGS define a regional survey covering an area of approximately 500km2 or more, or a traverse of 25km or more length.

22 February 2021              Applications open for round 14 through GrantsNT.
4 May 2021Applications for round 14 close through GrantsNT.
May / June 2021         Assessment panel meet and applicants notified of funding outcome.
June / July 2021Funding agreements negotiated and signed with successful applicants.
1 December 2021 Fieldwork to be complete.
30 June 2022Funding agreement ends.

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