The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety announced the successful applicants for round 21 of the Exploration Incentive Scheme's (EIS) Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program.
The program received 61 applications, with 45 being successful, including seven prospectors.
The largest number of grants were focused on the Goldfields around Kalgoorlie and Laverton.
Several companies, including Rio Tinto, Geostats, Antipa Minerals and Encounter Resources received grants for drilling in the Paterson Province, while Golden State Mining and Kairos Minerals made successful applications for cash to drill near De Grey Mining's exciting Hemi gold discovery near Port Hedland.
There were five grants for the restricted Kimberley region and two for the Tanami.
"Round 21's 49 successful projects was an increase on the previous round, which bodes well for the future of our resources industry as the McGowan government works towards economic recovery after COVID-19," minister for mines Bill Johnston said.
"The amount of applications we received, reflect the strong interest in Western Australia as an investment destination for mineral resources."
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies welcomed the latest grants.
"The announcement of EIS is timely, as some parts of the mineral exploration sector are facing challenges raising capital and have had to reduce staff because of the impact of COVID-19," CEO Warren Pearce said.
"Programs like EIS that attract investment will be critical as Western Australia rebounds post-COVID."
A government-funded ACIL Tasman study into the effectiveness of the EIS found that every $1 million invested stimulates exploration activity generating $10.3 million in direct benefits for WA.
The study found that every $1 million spent under the EIS generated 12.5 full-time jobs in minerals exploration for three years.