Queensland saw a 22 per cent boost in exploration spending for minerals and petroleum over the last 12 months, totalling $442.1 million. This is an $80 million climb compared to 2016–2017.
Queensland Resources Council executive Ian Macfarlane said, “The strongest growth was in base metals — copper, silver, lead, zinc, nickel and cobalt — with exploration increasing by 53 per cent over the 2017–2018 financial year, from $57.6 million to $88 million.”
Compared to 2016–2017, gold exploration increased by 21 per cent, from $51 million to $61.7 million. Copper exploration was up 41 per cent, from $38.2 million to $53.8 million. And petroleum exploration rose by 5 per cent, from $154.9 million to $162.6 million — an overall 22 per cent climb over the quarter.
The increase in exploration spending across commodities props up the development of new infrastructure, renewable energy, electric vehicles and battery storage.
According to the QRC, the resources sector was already creating a new role every hour, delivering $1 billion in overseas sales through exports every week and contributing nearly $100 million in royalties to the Palaszczuk Government every week.
Macfarlane said, “The Queensland Resources Council is working with the Government to ensure we have stable and predictable policy for the sustainable, competitive and stable development of the state’s resources for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”
The Government is seeking expressions of interest from explorers for 44,000 square km for gas and coal, and 1107 square km in the North West Minerals province, among other exploration opportunities.