Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program

Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program

What is the Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program?

The Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program is a flagship program of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) to support explorers in Western Australia through a competitive program which offers co-funding to innovative exploration drilling projects.



The Co-funded Government – Industry Drilling Program is being funded by the Western Australian State Government, to provide a stimulus to geoscience exploration and contribute to the economic development of regional areas of Western Australia. Over $165 million has been provided to the Exploration Incentive Scheme between 2009 to June 2021. The State Government has now extended funding for the Exploration Incentive Scheme from July 2019 at $10M per year. The program is administered by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). 

Geoscience exploration includes mineral, oil and gas, and geothermal exploration with drilling to be undertaken in underexplored areas. 

The Department is seeking proposals from applicants to undertake exploration drilling projects jointly funded by the successful applicants and the Department.



In 2021-22 the co-funded drilling program will consider applications from anywhere in the State and will preferentially fund high quality, technically and economically sound proposals that promote new exploration concepts and new exploration technologies.

Within this Co-funded Drilling program a separate pool of funding will be available for bona fide prospectors.

A separate pool of funds is set aside for bona fide prospectors. The grants made from this “Prospector Only” pool will be capped at $30,000 per grant. Prospectors will be required to submit geochemical analyses to the department if non-cored drilling is undertaken.

Co-funding in all application categories is up to 50 per cent of direct drilling costs, capped at:

  • $150,000 for general multi-hole applications
  • $200,000 for a single deep-hole application
  • $30,000 for a prospector application



Applicants may submit more than one Application but second and subsequent applications will be subject to handicapping.

Only one application will be eligible for consideration per tenement or combined reporting group, per drilling round.

Co-funding is only supplied for direct drilling costs which does not include administration and program management costs and costs associated with legal or ground access costs,  geological, geochemical (except for Prospectors only grants), geophysical, laboratory analysis or specific geoscientific analysis other than down hole position surveys.

From Round 22, mobilisation costs will be considered as part of the direct drilling costs. Details are provided in section 6b of the program guidelines

Government co-funding offered to successful Applicants shall not exceed 50% of the total proposed direct drilling costs, or up to the capped values in all cases.

Funding will only be offered to those Applicants holding, or having access to, a granted mining tenement, petroleum title or geothermal title.

However, consideration will be given to those Proposals where it is considered by the panel that an application for a mining tenement, petroleum title, or geothermal title is likely to be granted within a reasonable time frame (i.e. within 3 months from proposal submission) and that other approvals (native vegetation clearance etc.) will be completed shortly thereafter.

If the Applicant is not the holder of the mining tenement, petroleum title of geothermal title on which drilling is planned, then a letter of agreement (to the Co-funded drilling application and conditions associated with Co-funding) is required from the tenement holder.



The current round is now closed. Round 24 opens 2 August 2021.


More Information

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top
R&D Top 10 Consultant Tips

Top 10 Consultant Tips to Maximise the R&D Tax Incentive