Rio, which is accelerating work on its Winu discovery in the Paterson Province, received a grant to drill the Budjidowns copper-gold prospect, east of Newcrest Mining's Telfer mine.
To the north, its joint venture partner Antipa Minerals was awarded two grants to drill Paterson Province targets.
After announcing it was refocusing on nickel last week, BHP Nickel West was awarded a grant to drill the Hedgehog prospect.
Other producers to receive grants were Northern Star Resources, AngloGold Ashanti, Regis Resources, Pilbara Minerals, Silver Lake Resources and Independence Group.
All up, A$5.14 million was awarded to 45 projects in round 19 of the EIS.
WA mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said the number of battery metal projects was on the rise.
"We're pleased that this round reflects such a varied mix of new-energy and traditional exploration projects," he said.
"The EIS program has resulted in major discoveries, with more being made each year, all of them increasing the odds of opening new mines and creating jobs."
Since its inception in 2009, the EIS drilling program has offered funding to more than 900 projects resulting in more than 745,500m of drilling across the state.
The next round of the program opens in August for co-funded drilling in 2020.