HALIFAX: Nine prospector grants, two shared-funding project grants and a research grant may help find and develop new mineral deposits across the province.

Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller announced $184,540 in grant funding today, July 19.

“Nova Scotia has great economic potential in our natural resources,” said Miller. “With the Mineral Incentive Program, we are encouraging research and exploration that may ultimately lead to new mines and the creation of jobs for our young people in rural Nova Scotia.”

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Henry Schenkels was awarded two Prospector Grants valued at $4,540 for Guysborough County.

John Shurko was also awarded two Prospector Grants, valued at $20,500, which include Inverness County.

Prospector grants of up to $15,000 fund activities by prospectors on grassroots exploration activities to find economically viable mineral resources. Shared Funding Grants provide up to 50 per cent of eligible costs and are cost-shared by industry and government. They are designed to fund exploration and evaluation activities beyond the grassroots level.

The incentive program also supports university-based research into mineral deposits. This year, the program will support research at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. In addition to the grant, which funds the research, the program links industry with innovative university researchers, and provides support for training the next generation of mineral deposit geologists.

“The Mineral Incentive Program has given me the opportunity to test historic drill core samples for indium, an element in high-demand in today’s world of flat screen televisions, solar panels and touch screens,” said John Shurko, one of this year’s grant recipients.

“As a prospector, I am hoping these initial steps may bring us closer to defining a resource that could one day attract larger scale economic benefits to our province.”

Applications were evaluated by the department’s Geoscience and Mines Branch, based on the quality and merit of the work proposal and its potential to lead to a new mineral discovery or significantly advance a project. Applicants also had to show they were capable of completing the proposed project.

There will be more Mineral Incentive Program grants announced later this year.

Information about the program is available at: https://novascotia.ca/natr/meb/nsmip/nsmip1.asp.