On June 23, 2020, the government of Saskatchewan announced the opening of the application window for the Targeted Mineral Exploration Incentive (“TMEI”) program for 2020-2021.
As part of the Saskatchewan Mineral Development Strategy, the TMEI offers eligible mineral exploration companies a 25% rebate on approved direct drilling costs up to a maximum of $50,000 per fiscal year. The TMEI is intended to promote new discoveries. It is available to mineral exploration companies that undertake drilling for base metals, precious metals, or diamonds on mineral dispositions. Companies drilling on mining leases are not eligible.
Eligible applicants include:
- A holder of a Saskatchewan mineral claim that is registered in accordance with The Mineral Tenure Registry Regulations and in good standing; and
- A person or company authorized to act as a designate by an eligible holder as per The Targeted Mineral Incentive (TMEI) Regulations.
Projects must be in the defined geographic region in Saskatchewan (“TMEI area”). The TMEI area includes existing mining and mineral processing operations in the Creighton-Flin Flon area. The government of Saskatchewan notes that the area was selected because of its proximity to existing infrastructure and because of its high potential for the target commodities.
Eligible expenses are those associated with direct drilling costs and incurred by the applicant between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Drilling, including but not limited to casing, cementing, testing, reaming, wedging and orientation;
- Labour, including but not limited to site preparation, skid work, cat work, sump maintenance and foreman;
- Travel and transportation costs of personnel, equipment and supplies used in the work with respect to the approved application to a maximum of 40% of the total cost of the approved application;
- Equipment and consumables, including but not limited to rentals, drill steel, muds, lubricants, fuel and helicopters;
- Other items, such as moves between drill sites and standby;
- Any other approved direct drilling expenditure approved by the Minister.
The deadline for applications is December 31, 2020 and the overall funding level for the TMEI program will be established annually to a maximum of $750,000 per year.
MLT Aikins has significant experience advising clients in the mining and natural resource industry. Our lawyers in this practice area would be pleased to further discuss eligibility and details of the TMEI program.