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  • Junior minerals exploration incentive

    In 2018, the Australian Government introduced a Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) to provide a tax incentive for junior exploration companies, to encourage investment and risk taking.

    On 5 May 2021, the Australian Government announced it will invest a further $100 million over four years to extend the JMEI to the end of June 2025.

    The JMEI enables eligible companies to create and issue tax credits by giving up a portion of their tax losses from greenfield mineral exploration expenditure, which can then be distributed to eligible shareholders. Tax credits can only be generated for new shares issued in that income year.

    Australian resident shareholders issued with a tax credit are entitled to a refundable tax offset or additional franking credits. The issuing company's carry-forward losses will be reduced to reflect the amount of the credits created.

    The JMEI is voluntary and companies seeking to participate need to electronically lodge their participation form with us by the due date. We will allocate each eligible entity an exploration credit allocation on a first come, first served basis until the annual exploration credit cap for each income year is exhausted.

    The JMEI applied from the 2017–18 income year, with exploration credits capped at a total of $100 million over a four-year period as follows:

    • $15 million in the 2017–18 income year
    • $25 million in the 2018–19 income year
    • $30 million in the 2019–20 income year
    • $30 million in the 2020–21 income year

    The extension of the JMEI applies from the 2021–22 income year, with exploration credits capped over a further four-year period as follows:

    • $25 million in the 2021–22 income year
    • $25 million in the 2022–23 income year
    • $25 million in the 2023–24 income year
    • $25 million in the 2024–25 income year

    If any part of the annual exploration credit cap is unallocated for an income year, the amount that is unallocated will be carried over to the following income year. You cannot have an unused allocation of exploration credits from the 2020–21 income year in the 2021–22 income year.

    The JMEI builds upon the Exploration Development Incentive, which ceased on 30 June 2017. Further information on the operation of the JMEI and how to apply is available at Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive.

    Legislation and supporting material

      Last modified: 15 Jul 2021QC 53323