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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator SCOTT (Western Australia) . - As Senator Cant has said, clause 5 proposes to amend section 10 of the Principal Act by adding a new sub-section (10.) which contains the following definition - approved diamond drilling ' means diamond drilling approved by the Treasurer . . .

I should like to know what is in the mind of the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) in relation to this clause. If a gold mine qualifies for subsidy, surely it should be the intention of the Government to encourage those operating the mine to explore for additional ore bodies. These ore bodies might not be near the mine that is being worked but the company might be able to get additional leases in distant areas or it might be able to take an option over another gold mining area or another lease.

The area where the company might intend to do additional drilling might not be adjacent to or in the vicinity of a gold mining area. Therefore a company would no doubt apply to the Mines Department in Western Australia, or in another State, for an additional lease. That is exactly what the Government wants a company to do in such a case. It wants to encourage existing gold mining companies to explore for new ore bodies which might be richer than those being worked in the hope that such activity will prolong gold mining. The Government has stated that provided this is done, it will take into account in the total cost of drilling 50 per cent, of the subsidy the company will get for the gold produced from the original mine.

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