The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the release of the state’s Annual Exploration Program for 2017-18, which opens more than 19,000sq km of ground for gas, minerals and coal exploration.
Chief executive Ian Macfarlane said Queensland was continuing to lead the way in responsibly developing the resources sector.
“The economics of supply and demand are simple, if demand for gas is strong you need to increase supply to put downward pressure on prices. Queensland’s latest exploration program includes almost 18,000sq km for gas and petroleum exploration, which builds on the state’s advanced gas industry,” Mr Macfarlane said.
The sites set for gas exploration include parts of the Surat, Bowen, Eromanga and Adavale basins.
The exploration program also includes 1100sq km for minerals in the North-West Minerals Province and 540sq km for coal in the Bowen and Galilee basins.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said two sets of competitive tenders would be called: for petroleum and gas and minerals in the current quarter and for coal in April-June 2018.
“Many of the petroleum and gas blocks are greenfield sites, and I encourage new and local players, as well as junior explorers to enter the Queensland market,” he said.
“The solution to gas shortages is more gas and Queensland continues to do the heavy lifting on supply and policy initiatives, like our pilot of land for the domestic market only.”
The north-west minerals blocks are between Mount Isa and Doomadgee and have potential for copper/gold and lead/zinc, as well as the rare earth elements that are used in advanced technologies from hybrid vehicle batteries to super-conducting magnets.