TARGET Minerals Exploration Initiative
The TARGET Minerals Exploration Initiative was a Victorian Government grants program to encourage investment in exploration for copper, other base metals and gold in Victoria. It also funded geoscience activities which provided the base information explorers investigate further.
The initiative included government grants for exploration companies to conduct co-funded minerals exploration programs for eligible minerals. TARGET grant funding was made available through a competitive application process.
Exploration projects for coal, oil and gas were not eligible for TARGET grants.
TARGET grants covered up to half the cost of eligible exploration activities, which included geophysical surveys, drilling and sampling analysis.
Since 2016, 15 projects have been awarded over $3.4 million in TARGET grants. In October 2018, a further five projects in the Stavely Arc in western Victoria were selected to share in $2.3 million in TARGET grants (subject to being granted a minerals exploration licence), as part of the Stavely ground release tender.
By encouraging greater investment in minerals exploration, TARGET grants have enhanced the understanding of the minerals potential in Victoria, which in turn has attracted further investment and increased economic activity, services, jobs and other flow on benefits to regional Victoria.
TARGET Round 1
Through TARGET Round 1, 10 projects were selected in June 2016 to share in over $2 million in co-funded grants to explore for copper, other base metals and gold in western Victoria (see map below).
These grants are spurring on the search for copper, other base metals and gold in western Victoria and have contributed to a new gold discovery in the region.
Grant recipients are existing licence holders whose co-funded projects are further enhancing the understanding of potential mineral deposits in western Victoria, in and around the Stavely Arc.
A collaborative geological research program by the Geological Survey of Victoria and Geoscience Australia has identified the Stavely Arc as having potential for copper, other base metals and gold mineralisation.
The projects awarded a TARGET Round 1 co-funded exploration grant are:
|Company (Licence number)||TARGET grant awarded (incl. GST)|
|Austpac Resources (EL5291)||$53,300|
|GBM Resources (EL5423)||$184,950|
|Murray Basin Resources (EL5484)||$74,360|
|Navarre Minerals (EL5476)||$626,150|
|Stavely Minerals (EL3019/EL5403)||$273,560|
|Stavely Minerals (EL4556)||$539,682|
|Stavely Minerals (EL4758)||$69,870|
|Stavely Minerals (EL5470)||$51,420|
|Stavely Minerals (EL5478)||$117,410|
|Stawell Gold Mines (EL3008)||$196,000|
Read the media release: Exploration grants on TARGET in Western Victoria.
Projects awarded TARGET Round 1 grants
TARGET Round 2
In May 2017, five projects were selected to share in almost $1.3 million in grants to explore for gold and base metals in the northern part of the Bendigo geological province (see map below).
This area is considered highly prospective for gold under cover, with recent research from experts predicting significant undiscovered deposits of gold could be present in the region.
The successful grant recipients are existing licence holders in the northern part of the Bendigo geological province and have been funded to undertake a combination of geophysical surveys, geochemical surveys and drilling.
TARGET Round 2 is building on the knowledge delivered through previous Victorian Government investments in geoscience data and co-funded exploration in this region.
The successful co-projects funded by TARGET grants are:
|Company (Licence number)||TARGET grant allocated (incl. GST)|
|Fosterville Gold Mine (EL3539)||$153,538|
|Kite Gold / Providence Gold & Minerals / Gold Exploration Victoria (EL4525)||$411,345|
|Kite Operations / Navarre Minerals (EL4897)||$247,170|
|Kite Operations (EL5521)||$343,420|
|Providence Gold & Minerals (EL5355/EL5368)||$249,700|
TARGET Round 3
The Stavely ground release tender for 11 new minerals exploration licence areas (blocks) in the southern part of the Stavely Arc region in western Victoria closed on 15 August 2018.
The tender included the opportunity to apply for up to $500,000 in exploration grant co-funding per block (to be matched by the tenderer), from the Victorian Government’s $15 million TARGET Minerals Exploration Initiative’s grants program.
Following the assessment of tenders by an independent panel of experts, on 22 October 2018, the Minister for Resources announced that six companies had successfully progressed through the tender process for six blocks.
Five of these companies will share more than $2 million in Round 3 TARGET minerals exploration grants and will likely spend more than 10 times this amount on their exploration programs.
A brief summary of each company, proposed exploration program and contact person for queries is provided below:
|Block||Company name and licence application number||Map and company details||Date licensed||TARGET grant awarded (incl. GST)|
Westrock Minerals (EL006869)
27 April 2020
Stavely Minerals (EL006870)
30 August 2021
Gippsland Prospecting (Battery Minerals) (EL006871)
15 October 2020
Century Minerals (EL006872)
Application under assessment
WIM Resource (EL006873)
23 September 2019
Page last updated: 01 Dec 2022