Metroof Minerals and Sojitz Coal have won exploration rights to a total of about 13,100ha between Middlemount and Blackwater, in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said awarding the tenders was another positive result from the state’s first annual exploration program that gave the resources sector its first forward plan for government exploration tenders.
“Potentially, these tenders could be our next generation of coal development in an area with a history of successful coal development for export and electricity generation,” he said.
“The Bowen Basin contains the majority of Queensland’s coking, metallurgical and thermal coal reserves which are ripe for export.”
Metroof Minerals has been awarded an exploration authority for 86sq km, 60km south-east of Middlemount.
Metroof director Ken Broadfoot said the new tender complemented the group’s existing authorities on the eastern edge of the Bowen Basin.
Sojitz Coal has been awarded an exploration authority to explore 45sq km of ground, 25km south-east of Middlemount.
Sojitz Coal managing director and chief executive officer Cameron Vorias said the exploration authority would further complement the company’s Queensland metallurgical coal interests.
“This gives opportunity for Sojitz Coal to further grow its portfolio focussing predominately on metallurgical coal and the development of the next generation of close to surface coking coal deposits in Central Queensland,” Mr Vorias said.
“This exploration authority will also broaden our local footprint which includes our management and operating interests in the new Meteor Downs South mine as well as our existing Minerva mine.
“Importantly, the Sojitz Coal business has specialised in highly productive, cost competitive thin seam mining operations which provides an excellent platform for developing coal deposits in the Fort Cooper coal measures.”
Metroof and Sojitz must now negotiate land access agreements and fulfil any existing environmental and Native Title requirements before the exploration authority is granted and work can begin.
A petroleum and gas exploration tender is under way, closing at the end of May, for 12 parcels of land across 17,826sq km and another round of minerals exploration tenders is also due to open this month over 1107sq km.