The Queensland Government has unlocked more land for exploration companies to identify the next generation of resources projects.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham today announced the successful tenderers for minerals and coal tenders in the state’s North West Minerals Province and the Bowen and Surat basins.
Junior explorer Red Metal will be able to explore for zinc, lead, copper and silver deposits across 400 square kilometres of land located 250 kilometres north of Mount Isa.
Four other companies – Denham Coal, Queensland Coal Investments, Enex Togara and Wandoan Holdings – will be able to launch exploration over 369 square kilometres of land in the Bowen and Surat basins.
These areas are near Moranbah, Blackwater and west of Maryborough close to existing mines or mining leases.
Lynham said unlocking land for resource exploration – whether it is to uncover coal, gas or minerals – was vital to continuing resource development, whether it’s for mining jobs or royalties to fund our hospitals and schools.
“Exploration is essential for Queensland to keep up with the world’s thirst for tech minerals and our own manufacturing sector’s ongoing need for high-quality base metals,” Lynham said.
“New coal deposits offer energy security and a long term economic future for all Queenslanders.”
The tenders follow the release of a geological report that shows Queensland is sitting on almost double the amount of coal than was last known.
According to the report, Queensland has 63 billion tonnes of raw coal in-situ, an increase of around 29 billion tonnes on the previous estimate. Lynham said this included more than 14 billion tonnes of coking coal.
Each of the explorers will have to negotiate land access agreements and fulfil all existing environmental and Native Title requirements before they are granted exploration permits.