A new North West Minerals Province strategic blueprint to stimulate exploration investment and job creation has been welcomed by the Queensland resource industry’s peak body.
It includes more than $30 million worth of measures including large-scale geological surveys to identify new commercial deposits, a four-year program to support exploration in greenfield and high-risk areas and red-tape reduction for explorers, including a hands-on team to help smaller miners get their projects over the investment line.
The Palazsczuk Government strategy will also focus on luring more overseas investment, with an annual investor forum to be held in Townsville to support the region’s promotion.
The Queensland Resources Council said targeted incentives announced in today’s blueprint would encourage investment and deliver jobs for regional communities.
“The QRC commends the Palaszczuk government on its proactive and consultative approach by working with industry, local government, unions and the community to ensure all stakeholders were considered in mapping out this blueprint for the North West,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
“Locating a hyperspectral logger in Mount Isa at the government’s existing drill core facility is an excellent initiative. It’s a simple practical approach that can deliver cost savings and efficiencies for explorers in the region.”
Newly appointed Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) chairman Brad John said it was pleasing to see the government announce an investor forum in Townsville, which recognised the significant level of economic activity that was driven out of the North West and the Port of Townsville.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the blueprint, underpinned by more than $39 million in the recent State Budget, was designed to build on existing measures including the Resources Development (Royalties) Policy and its incentives for major resources projects in the Galilee and Surat Basins as well as in the North West Minerals Province.
To help diversify the economy and protect against the swings in commodity prices, the blueprint funds a long-term regional economic diversification strategy, including an integrated agriculture plan and a visitor survey to identify drive, paleo and eco-tourism opportunities.
The Department of State Development will recruit staff to establish the new blueprint implementation team in Mount Isa and will host a North West Futures Forum in the region in late 2017.
For more information on the blueprint visit: www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/nwmp