Exploration investment has increased across all major commodities in Queensland for the second year in a row, a new report shows.
The Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) Scorecard for 2018/19 was released at the QEC breakfast this week (December 3).
“Coal exploration increased for only the second time since 2011-12 up by 25 per cent. Copper and gold exploration expenditure lifted 19 percent and petroleum exploration expenditure grew by 10 percent,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
“The results underpin the growing optimism in the exploration industry with 58 percent of explorers planning to increase or significantly increase their exploration expenditure and 92 percent of drilling companies forecasting similar or increased spending over the next 12 months.
“Once again, the scorecard shows that Queensland is in prime position to benefit from our state’s rich mineral prospectivity.
“That investment has significant potential to grow. Queensland will be at the forefront of the development of the expanding critical minerals industry.”
QEC is the exploration arm of the QRC and its chair, Kim Wainwright, said a strong building block out of this year’s report was the close relationship that has been developed with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
“Explorers’ rapport with the Queensland Department reached an all-time high. For the first time in the Scorecard’s nine-year history, explorers were positive about departmental assistance. This is an important relationship, and we hope it continues to grow,” she said.
Mr Macfarlane said the Scorecard also sounded a note of caution about access to capital, social licence to operate and policy uncertainty which was sitting at negative 36 points.
“If we are to attract new investment and create new jobs we need a clear and stable policy environment in which it to operate,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“This includes a clear, consistent approval framework and timetable, as well as potential for new exploration and new projects. Despite our rich prospectivity, Queensland cannot take future investment for granted.
“These will be key issues for Queensland in the election year 2020.”
Full report HERE