The Asia Miner

JUN 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Australia the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 2 26 AROUND THE REGION: Australia New data gathered by the Australian Government has revealed a potenƟally mineral-rich area straddling the Northern Territory-Queensland border is three Ɵmes larger than previously known. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia MaƩ Canavan released the informaƟon to coincide with the Annual Geoscience ExploraƟon Seminar (AGES) in Alice Springs. "The seismic data from the South Nicholson Basin shows the area covers over 91,000 square kilometres, larger than Tasmania," Minister Canavan said. "The data also reveals great potenƟal for mineralisaƟon but it's too soon to say how much resources the basin holds. "Geologically, it lies at a criƟcal juncƟon in northern Australia — between the world-class mineral-endowed regions of Mount Isa and Tennant Creek. "The neighbouring McArthur Basin contains both oil and gas, and the newly enlarged area of the South Nicholson Basin may be similarly prospecƟve." Minister Canavan said the ongoing surveys of the South Nicholson Basin were led by Geoscience Australia as part of the Government's $100-million Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program. "This new informaƟon is another step to gaining a beƩer understanding of the locaƟon and scale of potenƟal oil, gas and mineral resources in the region. "This is one of the largest studies of its kind in Australia, with more than 1,100 kilometres of seismic reflecƟon data collected. "Together with previously released gravity data, these new data dramaƟcally increase our geological understanding of this diverse region." Minister Canavan said a key to Australia remaining a world leader in mining and resources investment was to keep gathering new and more detailed geological data. "We know detailed geological data collected in the South Nicholson Basin region is vital to sƟmulaƟng more exploraƟon acƟvity across northern Australia. "More datasets will be released later this year, followed by targeted straƟgraphic drilling in 2019," Minister Canavan said. The South Nicholson data acquisiƟon is one of 17 projects underway across northern Australia and South Australia as part of the $100.5 million EFTF program led by Geoscience Australia. The seismic reflecƟon survey was undertaken in partnership with the Northern Territory Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Queensland and AuScope. In a joint media release with the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, the Australian CoaliƟon Government has announced its support of smaller exploraƟon companies undertaking greenfields mining exploraƟon, making mineral discoveries crucial to the Australian economy. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia MaƩ Canavan said that, through the Junior Minerals ExploraƟon IncenƟve, the Government would provide $100 million over the next four years to allow greenfields exploraƟon programs to distribute their tax losses as a credit to Australian resident shareholders. "The Government recognises the criƟcal role that smaller, or 'junior', mineral explorers play in maintaining a healthy and vibrant resources sector, and we are commiƩed to supporƟng this sector. "Greenfields mineral exploraƟon underpins the Australian resource sector by finding new mineral deposits and ensuring a strong investment pipeline. "Our Government is focused on promoƟng investment and driving economic acƟvity. Ongoing exploraƟon and the discovery of new mineral resources are essenƟal to the longer- term future of Australia's resources sector. They are also the vital components for the tools of our modern economy – from smartphones to solar panels." Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann said the Treasury Laws Amendment (Junior Minerals ExploraƟon IncenƟve) Bill 2017 amended the tax law to replace the former ExploraƟon Development IncenƟve with the Junior Minerals ExploraƟon IncenƟve. "This tax incenƟve will encourage junior explorers to take risks and to have a go at discovering the next large-scale mineral deposit," Minister Cormann said. Minister Cormann said this new incenƟve enƟtled Australian resident investors in small minerals exploraƟon companies to a refundable tax offset (or where the investor is a corporate tax enƟty, addiƟonal franking credits) if the company in which they have invested issued them an exploraƟon credit. Minister Cormann said mineral exploraƟon acted as a catalyst for new investment opportuniƟes and job creaƟon while supporƟng local businesses in regional communiƟes across Australia. "This incenƟve builds on the exploraƟon development incenƟve, which ceased in 2016-17, and has been developed based on industry feedback." Minister Canavan said that, despite good prospects, Australia had not had a world-class minerals discovery in more than 20 years. "Expenditure on greenfields exploraƟon declined by almost 70% over the five years to 2015-16. This incenƟve will make it more financially aƩracƟve for our mineral explorers to find resources in untapped regions, conƟnuing discovery of quality resources." Unearthing junior mining exploration opportunities An area of Northern Australia promises to be three Ɵmes richer in minerals than previously known Survey reveals potentially mineral-rich area in Northern Australia

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