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The Australian Government has extended the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) by four years with an additional $100 million in funding.

The JMEI extension aims to deliver more jobs for future miners.

According to the Australian Government, future mining employment will be limited without further exploration activities.

The JMEI has supported 85 junior mining companies since it was first introduced in 2018.

More than half of the exploration companies supported are based in Western Australia.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the JMEI will give explorers tax incentives and encourage new mine developments.

“The resources sector directly employs more than 260,000 people, with most of these jobs in regional Australia,” he said.

“We want to make sure the industry continues to grow and maximises the benefits for all Australians.”

Pitt said Australia’s resources sector is bolstered by junior explorers.

“Our successful, stable and secure resources sector is underpinned by our world class junior explorers,” he said.

“These companies ensure the ongoing exploration and the discovery of new mineral resources, including critical minerals that positions Australia to drive the global economy of the future.

“Australia can provide the world with secure supply chains and manufacturing opportunities for rare earths and critical minerals that are vital in the production process of our smartphones, batteries, new tech medical appliances and our defence componentry.”

Junior explorers in Australia discover up to 70 per cent of deposits that create new projects.

In April, the Australian Government granted $3 million to expand Geoscience Australia’s Exploring the Future resources program into Tasmania.

“Extension of the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive complements the existing suite of Australian Government support for greenfield exploration, including the $225 million Exploring for the Future Program run by Geoscience Australia, Pitt said.