Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane and Acting Assistant Treasurer Matthias Cormann said the government’s $A100 million Exploration Development Incentive would stimulate investment in exploration.
“Junior and small miners do most of Australia’s greenfields exploration, but changing global market conditions have created challenges and created barriers to new investment and exploration,” the pair said in a statement.
“This new legislation would enable junior explorers to use their tax losses for the benefit of their Australian shareholders.”
The Exploration Development Incentive was first introduced in May’s federal budget and would provide junior greenfield explorers a credit for money spent on exploration to be applied against their assessable income.
Under the scheme credits will be capped at $25 million in 2014/15, $35 million in 2015/16 and $40 million in 2016/17. It will then be reviewed.
The scheme would be a welcome boost for struggling exploration companies.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ data for the September quarter, spending on mineral exploration fell 24.4% when compared to the same time last year, while unemployment among geoscientists currently stands at 13.5% — double the national employment rate.