The Victoria Government in Australia has declared the second round of grants for minerals exploration as part of its Target programme. 

Launched to encourage companies to invest in finding new deposits of gold and base metals, the A$15m ($11.18m) programme also enables employment generation and a broader scientific understanding of Victoria’s geology. 

The second round of target funding involves more than A$1.2m ($890,000) in grants to Victorian companies for five projects, placing an emphasis on the northern part of the Bendigo geological province.

Spread over 14,000km², the area under consideration stretches from Bendigo to Echuca and Swan Hill on the Victorian border. Researchers suggest that the region could be host to significant undiscovered gold deposits.

Victoria Minister for Resources Wade Noonan said: “We have a rich history of gold mining in Victoria, and these grants will help companies invest in the next big discovery.

“We’re driving real investment in minerals exploration to grow local economies and create new jobs for regional communities.”

The grant will include more than A$139,000 to Fosterville Gold Mine for a project north of its existing mine.

More than A$373,000 will be provided to Kite Gold/Providence Gold and Minerals/Gold Exploration Victoria for a project north of Bendigo.

"These grants will help companies invest in the next big discovery."

Kite Operations/Navarre Minerals are set to receive in excess of A$224,000 for a project north of Bendigo.

Victoria will also grant more than A$312,000 to Kite Operations for a project north of Bendigo and $227,000 to Providence Gold and Minerals for a development north-west of Bendigo.

The grants awarded are expected to cover around half the cost of a range of exploration activities including geophysical surveys, drilling and sampling analysis.

The development involving the second round comes after Target Round One that saw A$2m ($1.49m) in grants for copper, other base metals and gold projects in the Stavely geological province in the state’s western region.

Image: Gold in quartz specimen from the Bendigo goldfields. Photo: courtesy of Rob Lavinsky / via Wikipedia.