Stawell-based mineral explorer Navarre Minerals has welcomed the Victorian Government's commitment to rejuvenate the state's gold and copper industries.
Following the hand down of this month's state budget, the Government announced a $15 million co-funded drilling and surveying scheme that will drive mineral exploration in the northeast, north and western parts of Victoria.
Grants will be made available for the TARGET program and it has the backing of Victoria's new Energy and Resources Minister, Mr Russell Northe.
Mr Northe said the geological data acquired through the program will help attract future investment from the mining sector and encourage further exploration in Victoria.
This is particularly exciting news for Navarre Minerals as the company enters the next phase of porphyry-copper exploration at its Eclipse prospect at Cherrypool, located 60 kilometres south of Horsham.
Navarre's recent exploration surveys at Eclipse have yielded encouraging results, with a shallow gold and copper zone revealed above a much bigger and slightly deeper target zone.
Navarre Minerals Managing Director, Geoff McDermott is delighted with the recently announced State Government's TARGET program.
"The government's TARGET initiative provides companies like us, access to new funding avenues to undertake our drilling programs. This initiative would be helpful to fund those deeper holes in order to unlock the secrets of our porphyry-copper targets," he said.
"It's been a tough couple of years for junior explorers to raise funds under the current economic climate and continue on with their mineral targeting programs. This State Government initiative gives us the opportunity to drill the holes we've dreamt about with the aim of discovering the big ore body, and reward our shareholders for their patience."
Mr McDermott said it has taken Navarre Minerals several years of 'patiently gathering all the geological evidence available' to progress the company's goal of discovering a porphyry-copper deposit in western Victoria.
"The new initiative brings us into line with other states such as South Australia and Western Australia, where similar programs have led to several major mineral discoveries," Mr McDermott said.
"Victoria needs a large mineral discovery to bring back the mining heritage that this state was once famous for. The TARGET initiative should lead to new mineral discoveries with flow-on economic and employment benefits for regional Victoria."