ASEG in conjunction with AIG, SMEDG & AUSIMM

presents NICK SHEARD, soon to be late of MIM & XSTRATA, speaking on




The Rugby Club, 5.30 for 6pm

Wednesday 20 August


In September 2002, Minister Ian Macfarlane announced the establishment of the Minerals Exploration Action Agenda (MEAA) in response to widespread publicity on the recent, very significant decline in the level of mineral exploration expenditure in Australia. A Strategic Leaders Group (SLG) of industry and government representatives was formed to identify the priority issues for the minerals industry and to assess possible solutions. Nick Sheard was one of the few exploration practitioners on the SLG which was chaired by Peter Lalor of Sons of Gwalia.


The SLG delivers four recommendations to address delays encountered by explorers in gaining access to land for exploration.


One of the most critical problems has been the failure of the market to supply risk capital for mineral exploration. Three SLG recommendations are presented, including a flow through share arrangement and a 125% tax deduction for greenfields exploration expenditure.


The SLG recognises the importance of pre-competitive geoscientific datasets and recommends continued co-funding to complete basic geoscience survey programs, augmented by new mapping technologies, and proposes nation-wide protocols for Internet-based access to geoscience datasets generated by both government and industry.


The SLG wants the Commonwealth Government to establish a 50 early career explorer scheme, and to move to a new funding model for higher education to increase the long term viability of geoscientific education and training institutions. Finally, a Deep Ore Discovery Program is proposed to support and increase public sector investment in R&D to equip mineral explorers in Australia with the tools for exploring through thick cover and at depth.



This is a very well considered suite of innovations, and represents the best chance the industry has had for many years to influence Cabinet. What can you do to support this effort?  Nick Sheard will explain the process of responding to the Government’s MEAA, identify the winning elements of the SLG recommendations, and guide geoscientists to contribute actively to the necessary promotion of a better future for our industry.


Ray Soper’s Comments on the issues raised.