Almost $2 million is available to encourage explorers to uncover minerals in remote, resource-rich north-west Queensland.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham told the Queensland Exploration Council that 15 new exploration projects, powered by 12 companies, would be bolstered by the latest round of State Government exploration grants.
As well, the Government is opening tenders to explore 672sq km of new land in the Bowen and Eromanga basins.
“As it gets harder and harder for explorers to find ‘the next big thing’,Queensland is investing in exploration,” Dr Lynham said.
“This is a downpayment on future jobs and business opportunities from Queensland’s $63 billion-dollar resources sector.”
Government and industry jointly fund the Collaborative Exploration Initiative, which backs private investment in under-explored parts of north-west Queensland by co-funding particularly innovative projects.
The proponents of the latest funded projects will receive up to half of the direct activity costs of their projects to a maximum of $200,000.
They will get an additional incentive of 75 per cent, or up to $300,000, if they can hit the ground running and finalise their projects by August next year.
Dr Lynham said Aeon Metals was a success story from an earlier round of grants last year.
“Their project helped to increase the extent of Australia’s largest cobalt resource, a critical mineral for battery technology which will power the next wave of renewable energy,” he said.
Tenders for the new coal exploration areas open tomorrow and bidders will need to include a cash offer in their bid.
Preferred tenderers must meet environmental, native title and other approval requirements before the five-year exploration rights are granted.
Dr Lynham said land access and compensation agreements would also need to be sorted with landholders before exploration could kick off.