The Queensland Government has announced a $10 million mineral exploration funding boost as part of its Unite and Recover jobs plan in the face of COVID-19 impacts.
The exploration grants are set to advance the state’s minerals exploration activity and bolster mining technology to drive future jobs in the sector.
New economy minerals including copper, cobalt, zinc and nickel will be targeted by the exploration grants as the state looks to capitalise on growing domestic and international move towards a greener economy.
“This funding boost is part of the second stage of our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan, as we take the state forward in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Queensland is rich in the minerals needed to manufacture the computers and smartphones we are communicating with, the renewable energy components needed to power them and the batteries we need to store the power.”
Queensland still remains committed to resources such as coal, with Glencore’s $1.5 billion Valeria coal project expected to provide 2350 jobs. The project was declared as a coordinated project by the state government last week.
China and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the current market leaders for new economy minerals, with Queensland looking to become a new major supplier.
Queensland Mines minister Anthony Lynham hopes a ramp up in exploration activity will support this ambition.
“This booster pack has the potential to create the next round of mega resource projects and jobs of the future,” Lynham said.
Of the $10 million funding boost, exploration grants of up to $200,000 dollars over four years will be provided.
The extra grants will further bolster the state’s New Economy Minerals Initiative.