We were pleased to see that the federal budget includes some support for the junior mining sector, which has suffered significant challenges in recent years, through the allocation of A$100 million of funding to Geoscience Australia for activities that will benefit juniors looking for new prospects.
The 2016 federal budget provides A$100 million to Geoscience Australia for mapping mineral, petroleum and groundwater potential in targeted areas across northern Australia and South Australia, with the aim of identifying new greenfield sites for future development. Resources and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg commented that it will improve Australia's long term exploration prospects and help address declining new onshore exploration. Grant Thornton annual JUMEX survey of junior mining and exploration companies has, in recent years, highlighted the extent of concerns around the long term implications of the reduction in exploration expenditure on future of the industry. With exploration expenditure levels having plummeted in recent years, there have been significant concerns regarding the long term implications of a reduction in the pipeline of future mines.