Queensland’s resources industry has seen an upsurge in greenfields exploration, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing a 39 per cent surge in activity in the March quarter compared to the same time last year.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane described exploration as an important indicator of confidence in the sector.
“When greenfield exploration is successful, it can generate new projects, new industries and the potential to create hundreds of millions of dollar of royalties for the life of the project,” he said.
“These figures again demonstrate the diversification story in Queensland’s resources with copper exploration surging 150 per cent, base metals 139 per cent, gold 37 per cent and coal up 65 per cent, all underpinned by a sustained lift in prices.”
Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) chair Brad John said the increasing level of copper exploration reflected its role as a key ingredient for future technologies such as electric vehicles and renewable energy.
State Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the ABS data for the quarter had shown a 25 per cent increase in general mineral exploration expenditure nationwide – but Queensland had beat this by 11 per cent.
“Investment in Queensland minerals exploration has increased by an impressive 36 per cent to $266.6 million in 12 months and 6 per cent since December 2017,’’ Dr Lynham said.
Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government continued to initiate a range of – clearly successful – measures to promote exploration activities.
“Our land release program, pre-competitive geoscience initiatives and financial incentives are important factors supporting the exploration in Queensland and these compliment the high commodity prices making our state ripe for investment,” he said.