Policy - other

The R&D Tax Incentive

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive offsets some of the costs of doing eligible R&D activities.

It is open to organisations from any industry in Australia to assist companies doing eligible work to create new or improved products, processes and services by reducing their tax.

Find out if you are eligible with the R&D Tax Incentive snapshot.

More information and application.

SACOME's 2016 Federal Election Priorities and responses


SACOME regularly meets with state and federal Ministers and department executives to discuss challenges within the industry that impact on the ability of companies to explore and discover deposits, and bring them into production in a timely manner.

Ensuring an optimal regulatory and approvals framework is in place together with a positive department culture open to new projects and committed to results, is essential if we are to realise the potential of our resources industry. The resources industry is one of South Australia's key economic industry's and the one with the highest potential for future growth and state contributions. Ensuring our regulatory environment is supportive of project development, approvals times and conditions are reasonable, fees and levies fair and nationally competitive, and that South Australia is viewed as an attractive resource investment jurisdiction, is one of SACOME's key roles.

Many of our policy priorities in relation to mining are summarised under specific pages, including environmental and our submissions.

Exploration Development Incentive

SACOME initiated lobbying for the EDI in 2008. After years of persistence, including gathering support from other bodies & developing the model for Australian use, it was finally approved.

Since 2008, SACOME was in direct consultation with Government to develop a minerals exploration tax credit, otherwise known as a Flow Through Shares scheme. As part of their 2013 Election policy platform, the Liberal Party announced that should they win office, they would introduce an Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) scheme to allow investors to deduct the expense of mining exploration against their taxable income. 

Targeted at small exploration companies by limiting eligibility to companies with no taxable income, the scheme applied to investments made from 1 July 2014 and capped at $100 million over forward estimates. That promise was kept and in February 2014, after years of persistent lobbying by SACOME we contributed to a direct stakeholder submission to assist treasury publish its public policy document.  

In July 2014, the Federal Government released a paper detailing how the EDI will operate. SACOME continued to consult with the Government and was at the forefront of design on this important initiative, including providing the model which the final result was based on (developed by SACOME Councillor Alice McCleary.)  

The initiative has proven successful, with 84 applications received across Australia in the 2014/15 year. South Australian explorer PepinNini Minerals is amongst the successful applicants. SACOME is now lobbying for changes to the incentive to better achieve its outcomes, bringing the incentive inline with our original model.

Read our January 2015 media release.

Drill core library

Through 2012 to 2014 we lobbied the South Australian government for a new drill core library, with the existing main facility at Glenside reaching capacity. The new library was opened early in 2016, and provides a critically important resource for geoscience explorers, with access to South Australia’s wealth of drill cores from past and recent exploration including core extracted over 100 years ago. With most of South Australia’s ore bodies located deep under cover, access to data that could narrow or fine tune the search is important to reduce costs and fast track discoveries of the future.

Read our February 2016 media release

Mining & Exploration in South Australia

Mining has a proud history in South Australia

Once known as the Copper Kingdom thanks to large copper discoveries in the 1800s, the discovery of this resource is seen as having saved South Australia from bankruptcy. South Australia lays claim to the first commercial metalliferous mine in Australia, Wheal Gawler, at Glen Osmond which commenced producing silver-lead ore in 1841. Now a wide variety of commodities are generating global interest in South Australia.

South Australia is:

  • The largest producer of uranium in Australia and hosts 25% of the world's known recoverable uranium reserves and 80% of Australia's.
  • Host to the world’s largest uranium deposit and Australia’s largest underground mine - Olympic Dam - which is the world's fourth largest remaining copper deposit and fifth largest gold deposit
  • The sixth biggest copper producer, producing a third of Australia's copper and hosting 68% of Australia's known copper resources
  • The second highest mineral sands producer in Australia
  • Producer and exporter of 25% of the global zircon supply
  • Host to Australia's largest magnetite deposit
  • Host to the world's largest single-stream lead smelter at Port Pirie, where refined zinc, copper and silver are also produced
  • In the top 10 in the world overall for mining investment (Fraser Institute)

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Hillgrove's Kanmantoo mine in the Adelaide Hills. Image: James Knowler

Mining today

Minerals continues to be South Australia's largest export group, making up around 40% of South Australia’s total exports. A variety of commodities are mined in South Australia. These include copper, uranium, iron ore, gold, silver, zinc, zircon and graphite. 

Activity in the last ten years has increased with vigour due to the recognition of South Australia’s mineral wealth, thanks largely to pro-active polices by current and recent State Governments. Since the introduction of the Plan for Accelerated Exploration (PACE2020) program in 2003, exploration for minerals has increased from $41 million annual expenditure to the hundreds of millions.

The majority of South Australia's exploration has been targeted at copper, followed by iron ore, base metals, uranium and gold. These figures acknowledge the world class copper region of the Gawler Craton, particularly as 62% of all exploration tenements in the State are within this area.

Iron ore is South Australia’s second most explored and produced mineral, and is undergoing a transformation from exploration expenditure around $1 million per year in 2000, to current levels around $50-70 million per year. The production of iron ore has also risen sharply, from 3 million tonnes per year to 11.

The annual Fraser Institute Mining Survey (which assesses the attractiveness of jurisdictions to mining investment) continues to rank South Australia highly as a favorable mining jurisdiction.

South Australia's impressive resources wealth is increasingly supported by growing investment into research and innovation, giving rise to strategic collaborations between industry, education and government. This will see further innovations to optimise our resources, and technologies developed for domestic and global use.

With the number of mines increasing from four mines in 2000 to 21 in 2014, there is no doubt that South Australia will continue to be a significant destination to explore and invest.

Henry Muller


There is no doubt Australia has a talented community, with artists, authors, medicos and even the odd politician who have made significant contributions to our nation’s heritage and way of life. To a large degree, many of these champions are modest to a fault about their achievements, so it is only history that will carry that legacy forward. Such a person is Henry Muller.

Read the full story on the summer 2016 edition of Resourcing SA

History - Sir Douglas Mawson

Read the Spring 2016 Resourcing SA to discover Sir Douglas Mawson's love for South Australia and his contribution into today's mining and energy sector.

Below: Members of the Adelaide University final year geology class, 1940 atop Wilyerpa Hill, Southern Flinders Ranges. Reg Sprigg top right, Sir Douglas Mawson standing bottom right. (Photo courtesy Doug and Margaret Sprigg)

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