The Queensland government is planning to release three new areas of greenfield land in the north-west of the state for mineral exploration, creating potential jobs in the region.
Minister for Natural Resources Andrew Cripps said the 2364 square kilometres of land near Bedourie is resource rich.
“We are committed to encouraging exploration in greenfield sites to support a strong and robust Queensland resources industry and the jobs and economic benefits it delivers,” Cripps said.
“This land we are releasing lies within existing Restricted Areas 351, 353 and 354 which currently preclude any exploration activities.
“Restricted Areas are established to protect highly prospective land for controlled release for future exploration.
“Recent airborne geophysical and ground gravity survey data collected as part of the Queensland Government’s $20 million Smart Exploration program has indicated the area is potentially rich in a range of minerals and rare earth elements.
“That’s why the government intends to repeal Restricted Areas 351, 353 and 354 in July 2013 to allow companies to apply for exploration permits for minerals.
“This planned land release continues the successful promotion of exploration opportunities in north-west Queensland through the government’s $18 million Greenfields 2020 program which is designed to encourage exploration in under-explored areas of the state.”
Cripps said the government would select successful applicants for exploration through a competitive and fair assessment process.