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NSW Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund: Round 1 | Stream 1

NSW Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund

Newsletter | September 19, 2022


The NSW Government has announced a $130 million fund to accelerate investment and deliver on the NSW Government’s vision to position the state as a major global supplier and processor of critical minerals and high-tech metals well into the future. This fund will be administered by NSW Mining, Exploration and Geoscience to activate projects and support research and development.

Funding will be delivered to:

  • unlock project blockages through strategic infrastructure investment
  • enhance investment through establishing new capacity in critical minerals processing
  • support scale-up and commercialisation of emerging technologies and applications
  • drive local skills development
  • support investment in exploration to promote new discoveries for an ongoing pipeline of critical minerals and high-tech metal resources
  • facilitate the role of critical minerals as an enabler to the clean economy
  • contribute to the state outcome of mineral and petroleum industries generating prosperity, safely.

The Fund will be delivered across multiple rounds. The first round will consist of two streams. This funding opportunity only relates to Stream 1 which focuses on funding studies which are necessary to activate or scale-up projects in the critical minerals and high-tech metals sector.

Projects that support development and use of minerals that occur in NSW will be given preference.

This program is administered by Department of Regional NSW.



NOW OPEN: Stream 1 – Project Activation Studies

  • Grant amount: From $300,000 to $500,000
  • Application opened: 6 September 2022
  • Application closes: 4 October 2022, 5:00 pm



Applicants must hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and must operate, or be developing a mineral project, or conducting research within the critical minerals and high-tech metals industry, or as part of the critical minerals/high-tech metals supply chain, and be one of the following:

  • a company incorporated in Australia
  • a company limited by guarantee
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a corporate trust
  • an incorporated association or co-operative
  • a Publicly Funded Research Organisation
  • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

To be eligible to receive funding, applicants must:

  • be registered for GST
  • operate, or be developing a mineral project, or conducting research within the critical minerals and high-tech metals industry, or as part of the critical minerals/high-tech metals supply chain
  • demonstrate financial and technical capacity to deliver the proposed studies
  • provide evidence of their $20 million Public Liability Insurance or confirmation that a Public Liability Insurance Policy of at least $20 million will be taken out prior to the execution of the Funding Deed.

Applications from consortiums are strongly encouraged. A consortium is two or more organisations who are working together to combine their capabilities when developing and delivering a study, such as a research organisation and private industry.

An organisation must be appointed as the lead applicant and satisfy the above eligibility criteria. The lead applicant is authorised to act on behalf of and bind each member of the consortium and, if the application is successful, enter into the Funding Deed and be ultimately responsible for delivering the studies. The application must include a letter of support from each organisation involved in the application.



  • Stream 1 grants: $300K to $500K to cover the cost of undertaking studies to support early-stage projects/ new innovations etc.
  • Stream 2 grants: up to $10m are to cover enabling infrastructure costs like heavy haulage, road upgrades, rail, water and power infrastructure
  • 50% funding over the course of the 5-year program
  • The streams will be delivered independently of each other and are not sequential – applicants to Stream 2 are not required to have submitted an application for Stream 1.


NSW Government Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Priority List

Critical minerals are metallic or non-metallic element that are essential for the functioning of our modern technologies, economies or national security and there is a risk that its supply chains could be disrupted. High-tech metals are those metals that support the rapidly growing high-technology industries, which are fueled by consumer demand for a high-tech, connected and environmentally sustainable future

View the list of priority Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals here

More Information



New Frontiers Exploration Program

The New Frontiers Exploration Program provides support to explorers to search for deposits of metallic minerals including critical minerals and high-tech metals in NSW. The program, formerly known as the New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling Program, has an extended scope to include exploration geophysics.

The program is part of the NSW Government’s Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy to promote mineral exploration investment in NSW.

The New Frontiers Exploration Program will provide grants to successful applicants for exploration drilling and geophysical programs (Group 1, 6, and 10 minerals under the Mining Act 1992 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 encouraging mineral exploration and discovery that will:

  • ensure a sustainable economic resource pipeline for the state, particularly in greenfields areas of the state
  • test new geological ideas and models and/or exploration in regions of significant cover
  • identify new critical minerals and high-tech metals deposits in NSW
  • create stronger relationships between government and industry.



  • Grant amount: $100,000 for drilling programs | $50,000 for geophysics costs
  • Application opened: 2 September 2022
  • Application closes: 31 October 2022, 5pm AEST

Mining, Exploration and Geoscience will conduct an industry webinar on Friday 23 September at 11am on the program guidelines and application process.

More Information


For further tips for lodging your Clinical Translation & Commercialisation claim,
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Ryan can assist with services such as:

  • Scope your potential to claim various grant programs
  • Assist with the preparation and lodgement of grant applications
  • Review or provide a health check on your internally prepared grant applications
  • Establish record-keeping practices as required under various grant programs
  • Provide prepayment loans against future cash refunds under the R&D Tax Incentive
  • Keeping industry informed on all new Government policy and grant initiatives

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