The Victorian Coalition Government has committed to further investment in geological information to drive exploration and development of Victoria's minerals and energy resources.
Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O'Brien announced today that as part of the 2011-12 Victorian Budget an additional $625,000 would be invested in Geoscience Victoria.
This announcement delivers on a Coalition election commitment to support investment in geoscience to facilitate investment and development in the Victorian minerals and resources sector.
The funding will support further research and analysis while the Parliament's Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee inquires into the benefits and drivers of mineral exploration in Victoria.
"Mineral exploration in Victoria has been trending downwards for some time and we need to reverse this trend," Mr O'Brien said.
"This new funding, under the Rediscover Victoria banner, will help fill critical remaining gaps in geological data collection and distribution.
"This is a high priority in promoting exploration and especially development of Victoria's mineral and energy resource endowments.
"We know that Victoria holds great potential for the kind of mineral deposits needed to supply growing global demand. However, we need comprehensive data available to attract explorers. Rediscover Victoria will provide this."
Mr O'Brien said it was clear from the Government's analysis of resources industries globally that targeted engagement with exploration companies, based on good analysis of potential, was the key to success. Victoria's geological survey efforts will also see an increased focus on stronger, more direct engagement.
Mr O'Brien said that the additional funding would support Geoscience Victoria to develop a better understanding of:
- Victoria's potential to host additional gas developments, especially onshore unconventional gas opportunities in Victoria's large sedimentary basins, in light of the need for lower emissions fuels to generate affordable power; and
- world class mineral deposits in mineral sands, disseminated base metals and disseminated gold.
Media contact: Simon Troeth 0439 300 335