In a National Resources Statement published in February 2019, the Australian government set out its policy and long-term reform agenda for the country’s resources sector. The statement included a five-point action plan for Australia to become the most globally attractive resource investment destination; open-up new resource regions; improve the sector’s focus on development; retain the world’s best workforce and deliver better community outcomes.
This strategic long-term approach aims to position Australia’s resources sector as the world’s most advanced, innovative and successful. In the statement, the government said it believes there is a bright future for the country’s resources sector due, in particular, to Australia’s proximity to the burgeoning Asian economies and their huge appetite for metals and minerals.
With its vast mineral endowment and proven history of innovative exploration and mining practices, Queensland is well placed to benefit from this federal initiative. The state government supports exploration to deliver a strong and internationally-competitive resources sector. In the past two years, for example, exploration permits have been granted for over 80,000 square kilometres of land, and 127 mining permits have been approved.
The state’s mining and energy industry contributes over 7 per cent of gross state product, and more than half of Queensland’s exports, with direct and indirect employment of over 180,000 people. Coal is the most important sector, and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy estimates that Queensland contains 63 billion tonnes of coal resources (over half in the Bowen Basin), with metallurgical coal (coking and PCI) making up 25 billion tonnes of this total.
In 2016-17, Queensland produced 241 million tonnes of coal (worth $37.3 billion), almost 201,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 123,000 tonnes of copper concentrate (worth a combined $1.9 billion), 30 million tonnes of bauxite ($1.2 billion) and 17,400 kilograms of gold dore (worth $436 million), plus numerous other metals and minerals, including significant amounts of silver, lead, zinc and titanium.
Queensland companies, Multicom Resources, Armour Energy, Australian Mines and High Titanium Resources are just some of the companies who will showcase their projects and latest developments to investors at the upcoming Energy Mines and Money event.
With the support of the Queensland Government and Trade Investment Queensland, investors from around the world are invited to Brisbane from June 12-13 for Energy Mines and Money where they will be able to compare and assess coal, oil, gas and renewable energy, alongside precious, base, bulk and battery metals projects throughout a two-day conference and exhibition.
In addition to its pro-business government, Queensland has modern rail, port and transport infrastructure, a highly skilled and productive workforce, a strong and resilient economy, and a pleasant, subtropical, climate. Clearly an attractive target for mining investors, not least those with an eye on Asia.