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Exploration grants

The Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations program co-funds industry exploration programs to advance geological understanding and resource development in the Territory.

The Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations (GDC) program is a competitive grants program funded by the Northern Territory (NT) Government’s $9.5 million per annum Resourcing the Territory initiative and is administered by the Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS). The program will allocate up to $3 million to co-fund projects that address geoscientific knowledge gaps, advance exploration activity, and support the discovery and development of resources in the Territory.

Applications for round 15 are now closed.

Successful recipients will be announced by the end of May 2022.

Further details are available in the GDC round 15 guidelines PDF (3.2 MB) and under 'Guidelines and templates'.

Round 15 will allocate up to $3 million to share between selected greenfields and brownfields exploration programs. In comparison to previous rounds, the revised program has increased both the total pool of funding and the maximum funding available per project, and broadened the scope of exploration activities that are eligible for co-funding. A new ‘brownfields targeting’ project type has been added to encourage application of innovative techniques in generating targets for drilling near known deposits. This also includes the opportunity of co-funding of analysis of mine waste for additional elements including critical minerals. For more details download and read the GDC round 15 guidelines PDF (3.2 MB).

The program provides co-funding up to 50% of direct claimable project costs inclusive of GST capped at specific co-funding amounts for specific projects.

Greenfields drilling

  • $200,000 for a single, deep diamond hole program
  • $150,000 for multi hole programs (diamond or RC).

Greenfields geophysics

  • $100,000 for regional-scale geophysical acquisition resulting in a significant improvement in the resolution and quality of existing data
  • $150,000 for reflection seismic surveys greater than 25km length in underexplored areas.

Brownfields diamond drilling

  • $150,000 for single deep diamond holes and/or multiple diamond hole programs testing new concepts below or adjacent to an Identified Resource*.

Brownfields targeting

  • $100,000 for camp- or prospect-scale acquisition of geophysics or geochemistry where techniques are innovative or have not been previously tested in the area; and / or reanalysis of existing sample sets and mine waste for new commodities such as critical minerals (multi element analyses).

In addition to the co-funding available above, the Territory Supplier Incentive (TSI) scheme is available for any project that engages NT enterprises for service or supply. The TSI provides up to 50% of direct claimable project costs inclusive of GST capped at $10,000.

Applicants must meet eligibility requirements to be considered for funding. Applicants must apply online through GrantsNT. Proposals are competitively assessed against specific assessment criteria by an assessment panel. Information gained from the successful projects will become open file and released to the public six months after the completion of fieldwork to encourage further exploration.

Information about essential eligibility, project specific eligibility, the funding sequence, application process and successful applicants are detailed in GDC round 15 guidelines PDF (3.2 MB). Project specific proposal templates are available under 'guidelines and templates'. Project specific assessment criteria are available in appendices 1 to 4 in the GDC round 15 guidelines.

Review round 14 co-funding recipients.

Review all successful projects in previous rounds.

*Identified Resource is defined as a JORC-compliant or equivalent mineral resource of Inferred status or higher, or a Contingent Resource as defined by Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Co-funding for greenfields exploration aims to increase density of geoscientific data to improve geological knowledge and de-risk underexplored areas of the NT.

Greenfields drilling

Greenfields diamond drilling projects are eligible when:

  • programs are located away from known deposits, and
  • there is no previous diamond drilling in the area or the proposed drilling is to a significantly greater depth than existing drilling, and
  • non-diamond pre-collars account for less than half of the proposed drill metreage.

Greenfields reverse-circulation (RC) drilling projects are eligible when:

  • it is demonstrated by the applicant that no previous drilling of any method has been conducted in the project area, or
  • any previous drilling in the area was shallow RAB or aircore drilling that did not effectively test bedrock.

Diamond drilling in existing mineral fields, known mineralisation or in areas previously tested, may be eligible under Brownfields diamond drilling co-funding.

Before applying online, read GDC round 15 guidelines including Appendix 1: Greenfields drilling assessment criteria PDF (3.2 MB) and greenfields drilling proposal template DOCX (169.1 KB).

Greenfields geophysics

Greenfields geophysics projects are eligible when:

  • acquiring regional-scale geophysics in an area greater than 350km2 that results in a significant improvement in the resolution and quality of existing data; and
  • airborne line spacing is 50m or greater (magnetics, radiometrics, electromagnetic, airborne gravity and gravity gradiometry); or
  • ground gravity stations spaced on a regular grid at 500m or greater; or
  • passive seismic, reflection seismic or MT traverses greater than 25km length.

Camp- or prospect-scale geophysics in greenfields areas may be eligible under Brownfields targeting co-funding.

Before applying online, read GDC round 15 guidelines including Appendix 2: Greenfields geophysics assessment criteria PDF (3.2 MB) and greenfields geophysics proposal template DOCX (135.5 KB).

Contact the Collaborations grant manager to discuss project eligibility criteria.

Co-funding for brownfields exploration aims to support resource development and exploration targeting in areas of known resources endowment.

Brownfields diamond drilling

Brownfields diamond drilling projects are eligible for co-funding when:

  • drilling is testing deep targets near or below known deposits; or untested geophysical or conceptual targets near known deposits, and
  • targets are outside of an existing Identified Resource*, and
  • non-diamond pre-collars account for less than half of the proposed drill metreage.

Brownfields drilling projects will be not eligible when:

  • drilling shallow holes into known mineralisation
  • undertaking resource definition drilling
  • undertaking development drilling
  • utilising only RC or RAB or aircore drilling.

Before applying online, read GDC round 15 guidelines including Appendix 3: Brownfields diamond drilling assessment criteria  PDF (3.2 MB)and brownfields diamond drilling proposal template DOCX (163.7 KB).

*Identified Resource is defined as a JORC-compliant or equivalent mineral resource of Inferred status or higher (comparable to definition from Australia’s National Classification System for Identified Mineral Resources or a Contingent Resource as defined by Society of Petroleum Engineers).

Brownfields targeting

Brownfields targeting projects are eligible for co-funding when acquiring:

  • geophysical data for camp- or prospect-scale target generation, especially where the technique is innovative or has not previously been tested in the area, and / or
  • geochemical datasets for camp- or prospect-scale target generation, and / or
  • multielement geochemical data through reanalysis of existing sample sets or mine waste to broaden target commodity base (eg targeting critical minerals), and / or
  • multiple complementary datasets(geophysical/geochemical) to improve targeting.

Before applying online, read GDC round 15 guidelines including Appendix 4: Brownfields targeting assessment criteria PDF (3.2 MB) and brownfields targeting proposal template DOCX (160.9 KB).

Contact the Collaborations grant manager to discuss project eligibility criteria.

The Territory Supplier Incentive (TSI) offers up to $10,000 inclusive of GST per project of additional funding to engage NT enterprises, which must be spent on local service and supply directly supporting the co-funded program.

This can include up to 50% of the cost of:

  • $20,000 worth of additional drilling on the proposed program, if the drilling contractor undertaking the project is an NT enterprise
  • cost of geochemical analysis (both preparation and analysis) using a laboratory meeting the criteria of an NT enterprise
  • drilling of water bores to support drilling, and / or water haulage by an NT enterprise
  • earthworks, track construction and / or equipment hire from an NT enterprise.

For the purpose of the TSI, an NT enterprise is a business that is registered with the Industry Capability Network Northern Territoryand operates in the NT; and has a significant permanent physical presence in the NT; and predominantly employs NT residents.

In the case of an individual who cannot register with the ICNNT, the onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient evidence that the individual meets the above criteria.

DateAction
Monday 21 February 2022              Applications open for round 15 through GrantsNT
Friday 29 April 2022Applications for round 15 close through GrantsNT
May 2022      Assessment panel meet and applicants notified of funding outcome
June 2022Funding agreements negotiated and signed with successful applicants
1 December 2022 Fieldwork to be complete
30 June 2023Funding agreement ends

From 25 December 2021, vaccination requirements will apply to all:

  • NT Government contractors
  • grant recipients.

To find out more, read the conditions of contract for COVID-19 mandatory requirements.

For all Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade grants, an extra declaration will be added to the terms and conditions.

Applicants must confirm they are meeting the directions of the policy. The department may ask for proof to check compliance.


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