Northern Territory Facing Backlash For Plan To Help Fund 10 Exploration Projects

Northern Territory Facing Backlash for Plan to Help Fund 10 Exploration ProjectsThe mining industry has been having a tough time lately, making it difficult for companies to pay for exploration programs. In response to those circumstances, the government of Australia's Northern Territory has decided to provide select resource companies with grants. They'll be putting the money towards 10 projects in the region, many of which are uranium-focused.

A total of AU$850,000 will be distributed to nine companies carrying out exploration projects: Emmerson Resources (ASX: ERM), Cameco (TSX: CCO,NYSE:CCJ), AREVA (EPA:AREVA), Core Exploration (ASX:CXO), Rockland Resources, Pacifico Minerals (ASX:PMY), Teck (TSX:TCK.B,NYSE:TCK), MMG (HKEX:1208) and Tom Oates. The projects cover various commodities, including gold, lead, zinc, copper, manganese, petroleum and of course uranium.

"Some sectors of the resources industry are facing challenges at the moment, but it's still a major employer of Territorians and will be one of the long-term drivers of our future prosperity," David Tollner, the Northern Territory's mines and energy minister, said in a press release. "These grants give companies an incentive to get out there and discover what resources the Territory can count on in the future. Exploration is crucial to develop the deposits that will underpin the Territory's future economy."

The grants will be capped at AU$100,000 and are expected to fund 50 percent of the costs of drilling and undertaking geophysical programs in areas of the Northern Territory where "there is a lack of geological information."

The program is part of a bigger initiative called "Creating Opportunities for Resource Exploration (CORE)," which is run by the Northern Territory Geological Survey. CORE is a four-year, AU$23.8-million initiative geared towards the exploration and discovery of new mineral and petroleum resources.