This program is managed by the Department of Regional NSW and is part of the NSW Mineral Strategy commitment to promote investment in NSW. The New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling grants program provides grants to successful applicants for exploration drilling programs (Group 1, 6 and 10 minerals only) that demonstrate strong prospectivity, sound financial planning and a proven technical base.

The program supports the long-term sustainability of the NSW resources sector by:

  • supporting mineral exploration and discovery in NSW that will ultimately ensure a sustainable economic resource pipeline for the state
  • encouraging exploration activity in greenfields areas that will test new geological ideas and models and/or exploration in regions covered by significant cover
  • improving our understanding of the state's mineral resource potential, in order to fully realise the economic resource potential of the state

From 2014 to 2021, the program delivered three rounds of grants that funded 50 per cent, 75 per cent, or 100 per cent of drilling metre-rate costs dependence on the round, for individual projects, with a maximum of $200,000 awarded per project.

New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling round four announced

The NSW Deputy Premier has announced a further $2.2 million in grants for exploration projects across the state as part of the fourth round of the program.

The grants reimburse successful explorers for 50 per cent of per metre drilling costs, up to a maximum of $200,000.

Including the announcement of round four, the total program value since 2014 now stands at $8.4 million.

Round four now open

Round Four of the program is now open.

Applications for Round Four will be open until 31 August 2021. Successful applicants will be notified in October 2021.

Submitting an application

  1. Read the guidelines to find out more about the process
  2. Download and fill out the application form
  3. Submit the completed form by 5pm 31 August 2021 by email to


To express interest in participating in the Cooperative Drilling Round 4 Assessment panel:

Expressions of interest - Assessment Panel

For further information
New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling
+61 (02) 4063 6718
New Frontiers Initiative, Geological Survey of NSW, Department of Regional NSW, PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map