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Article:

Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI)

11 May 2020

Dave Smith , Associate Director, Tax, Research & Development |

To increase exploration investment in Queensland, the Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) (also termed ‘the Initiative’) provides funding assistance to test high risk or innovative exploration concepts aiming to develop a new understanding of the geology and prospectivity, and expand exploration into under-explored areas.

About the fund

Up to $200,000 is available in the form of a direct grant (no matched funding required) to support drilling and non-drilling activities including geophysics, geochemistry, other survey re-analysis of historical samples, and machine learning trials.

Timing

Round 4 proposals close on 31st May 2020 at 23:59 (AEST) via the Application form. Assessment and notifications of success will be made around 15th July 2020.

All activities must be completed by 31st May 2021 with the final project reports submitted by 15th June 2021. Project completion includes reporting and invoice submission to the Department.

Assessment criteria

Proposals should demonstrate economic and technical merit, and provide innovative concepts that address significant knowledge gaps and/or critical uncertainties in key areas, especially that of New Economy or ‘Critical Mineral’ prospectivity.

Proposals which have the potential to increase exploration activity in under-explored areas or increase exploration investment in Queensland are encouraged:

  • For geophysical surveys, proposals will be assessed based on how the survey has been linked to the company’s understanding of the geology of the area and their model for mineralisation within that setting. Innovation, such as using an existing technique in a new way, will improve the rank of the proposal
  • For geochemical surveys, proposals will be assessed on aspects such as location (areas with little or no previous exploration) or innovation
  • For re-sampling/analysis projects, proposals will be assessed on their potential to add significant new understanding to Queensland’s ‘Critical Mineral’ prospectivity in areas of known or existing ‘traditional’ mineralisation
  • For non-standard geochemical and geophysical methods; isotope geochemistry; data analysis and modelling using methods of artificial intelligence and machine learning, methods and specifications will be assessed with major consideration given to the appropriateness of technique and advancement of Queensland’s ‘Critical Mineral’ prospectivity.

Timing of activities in the proposal must be realistic to ensure completion of the activity and delivery of the final report in accordance with funding deed requirements. Documents supporting the ability of the company to complete the work on time must be included in the application (for example, land access agreements, cultural heritage clearances). Where appropriate, an indication from drilling or geophysical contractors that the work can be completed within the specified timeframe) should be included, as the ability to complete the project within prescribed timelines will be a major assessment criterion.

Additional assessment criteria include:

  • The Drilling method and sample quality, with diamond drilling having the highest-ranking.

Drilling activities will be scored using the following assessment card:

Non-drilling activities will be scored using the following assessment card:

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, organisations must:

  1. Be granted exploration tenure within QLD
  2. Have an idea that will advance our collective understanding of Queensland’s ‘New Economy Mineral’, potential (‘New Economy Minerals’ include: Bauxite, Cadmium, Cobalt, Copper, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Graphite, Indium, Lithium, Magnesite, Molybdenum, Nickel, Niobium, Platinum group elements, Rare earth elements, Rhenium, Scandium, Silica, Silver Tantalum, Tellurium, Tungsten, Tin, Titanium, Vanadium, Zinc and Zirconium)
  3. Indicate the tools that will help test the idea (see assessment criteria)
  4. Develop a clear link between the exploration target and the tools chosen to test Section 6 of the guidelines
  5. State how the activity will add exploration value to Queensland
  6. Include all information as specified in the guidelines, including the Proposal Cover Sheet (see Application form) and Proposal Outline (below).

Drilling proposal outline

  1. Summary
  1. Introduction

Must contain location information, including a location map.

  1. Regional context

Include geology and any other relevant information and any relevant comment on how the program will address regional knowledge gaps or uncertainties.

May include figures as supporting information.

  1. Previous exploration
  1. Detail of target

Please include information such as:

  • Deposit model
  • All relevant targeting criteria
  • Any relevant comment on the level of innovation of the:
  • Model, or its application in this area
  • Exploration techniques
  • May include figures and pictures as appropriate.
  1. Proposed program

Clearly link and justify how your exploration activity will test your deposit model

May include figures as supporting information.

  1. Summary comments

Comments should address:

  • Innovation
  • Potential to increase exploration activity in Queensland, particularly for New Economy minerals
  • Expand the exploration frontiers in Queensland.
  1. Costings
  1. Ability to meet CEI timeframes

Supporting documentation must be provided

  • Land access agreement
  • Cultural heritage clearances for specific sites
  • Letter of support from drilling contractor to establish drill availability
  • Bank Statement
  • Certificate of currency.


Non-Drilling proposal outline

  1. Summary
  1. Introduction

Must contain location information, including a location map.

  1. Regional context

Include geology and any other relevant information and any relevant comment on how the program will address regional knowledge gaps or uncertainties.

May include figures as supporting information.

  1. Previous exploration
  1. Detail of activity

Please include information such as:

  • Aims of activity
  • A detailed explanation of new or novel techniques
  • Expected outcomes
  • May include figures and pictures.
  1. Proposed program

Clearly link and justify how your exploration activity will test your deposit model

May include figures as supporting information.

  1. Summary comments

Comments should address:

  • Innovation
  • Potential to increase exploration activity in Queensland, particularly for New Economy minerals
  • Expand the exploration frontiers in Queensland.
  1. Costings
  1. Ability to meet CEI timeframes

Supporting documentation must be provided

  • Land access agreement
  • Cultural heritage clearances for specific sites
  • Letter of support from drilling contractor to establish drill availability
  •  Bank Statement
  • Certificate of currency.


Eligible activities:

A list of eligible activities is listed in section 4 of the Guidelines for grant proposals. Costs not directly related to section 4.12 of Guidelines for grant proposals will not be considered.

BDO encourages companies with proposals that meet the eligibility criteria to consider applying for the CEI. If successful, the funding secured could ensure companies have the ability to continue their innovative exploration activities, despite the economic situation facing the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With applications closing at the end of the month, quick action will be required if companies choose to apply

For further information on the CEI and how it can help your business, please contact a member of our Natural Resources team.

Useful Links:

Guidelines for grant proposals

Application form