WA Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program

WA Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program

  • Applications for Round 30 open on 5 August 2024 and close on 1 September 2024.
  • It refunds up to 50% for innovative exploration drilling projects, capped at set amounts:
    • $180,000 for general multi-hole applications
    • $220,000 for a single deep-hole application
    • $40,000 for a prospector application.

The Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program supports explorers by covering up to half of their exploratory drilling expenses. It's a flagship initiative of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS), running twice yearly and refunding up to 50% for innovative drilling projects, with specific limits.

Key Requirements

This program supports explorers with co-funding specifically for exploration drilling. It does not encompass resource definition, appraisal, stimulation, or development drilling, nor the establishment of new uranium mines.

Co-funding is provided solely for direct drilling expenses and excludes administration, program management, legal, ground access, geological, geochemical (except for Prospector grants), geophysical, laboratory analysis, and specific geoscientific analysis costs, except for downhole position surveys.

The maximum funding for any mineral or energy project supported by the Department is as follows:
  • $220,000 (ex GST) for a Deep Drill Program:
    • Mineral exploration: 1 or 2 diamond drill holes with a planned depth of 600 m or more.
    • Petroleum or geothermal exploration: 1 or 2 drill holes with a planned depth of 600 m or more, using any drilling method.

Projects proposing more than 2 drill holes are classified under the Universal Program.

  • $180,000 (ex GST) for a Universal Drill Program:
    • Mineral and petroleum exploration: Any number of drill holes, any drilling method, unrestricted depths, for projects not meeting Deep Drill Program criteria.
  • $40,000 (ex GST) for a “Prospector” Program.
When assessing, the Department will consider various factors that could affect the eligibility of the Proposed Program:
  • land access and corporate issues
  • past compliance with tenement or title reporting obligations
  • proponent’s financial and technical capabilities to execute the proposed program
  • schedule outlined for the proposed program

What is eligible for funding?

Drilling methods, equipment, and supplies are variable, so a comprehensive list of direct drilling costs isn’t fixed. Generally, it covers expenses during active drilling to collect diamond core, percussion-drilled rock chips, or auger samples.

The breakdown of direct drilling costs includes three categories: Activities, consumables, and instruments/equipment (including hire).


  • Active standby
  • Barrel change
  • Bit change
  • EIS hole rig movement
  • Water cartage
  • Casing operations
  • Downhole meter rate
  • Minimum shift rate
  • Mobilisation
  • Pack up drill site
  • Pulling casing
  • Pulling/running rods
  • Reaming ground conditions
  • Reaming casing
  • Rigging down
  • Rigging up
  • Set up drill site
  • Standby
  • Tramming
  • Water bore drilling


  • Bit
  • Collar stabilising items (PVC pipe/casing/foam)
  • Collar casing
  • Downhole consumables
  • Diesel
  • Drilling mud additives
  • Foam (for collar stabilization)
  • Grease/tacky
  • PVC pipe (for collar)
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Roll black plastic
  • Water


  • Axis Champ
  • Gyro Booster
  • Gyro hire/survey
  • Lighting tower (for night drilling)
  • Orientation tool
  • Single-shot camera
  • Solid returns unit
  • Temporary above-ground sump

What companies are eligible for funding?

To qualify, WA explorers and prospectors must:

  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • own or have access to a tenement.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.