Australia's Queensland Government has funded seven mineral and resource companies to support its drilling activities.
Natural Resources and Mines minister Dr Anthony Lynham stated that the government has provided a total of A$600,000 ($454,056) to support drilling projects for copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold minerals.
The awarded companies include Ripple Resources, Teck Australia, Yappar Resources, Footprint Resources, Sector Projects, Red Metal Limited and Mt Dockerell Mining.
Lynham said: “A mix of junior and internationally renowned companies will start work this month, with positive flow on effects for local business and communities.
“Boosting investment in exploration is a way of maintaining the pipeline of metals production from the North West mineral province to eventually replace older mines.
“North West Mineral Province Taskforce has identified this as a priority.”
The funds are procured from the state’s long-running collaborative drilling initiative that supported approximately A$27m ($20.43m) worth of exploration in remote areas of Queensland.
Lynham added: “Funding through the collaborative drilling Initiative enables companies to undertake projects in frontier areas, projects that may have never seen the light of day due to the costs and risks involved in exploring in remote areas.
“These explorers are seeking new discoveries in areas that are deeper and more difficult to explore than in the past, using the best science available.”
Past exploration projects in the state have discovered around 40 significant mineral deposits in remote parts of Queensland.
Image: Collaborative drilling process in Queensland. Photo: courtesy of Department of Natural Resources and Mines of Queensland.