The Queensland Government is opening more land in the coal-rich Bowen Basin for exploration to fuel the next round of mining jobs.
Tenders have opened for five areas with high potential for steel-making coal; and thermal coal for electricity and industry use.
The new blocks also have access to the Bowen Basin’s existing rail and port infrastructure at Hay Point and Gladstone to get the coal from pit to port cheaper and faster.
“Exploration is the lifeblood of the resources sector, and the thousands of jobs and business opportunities it provides, particularly in regional Queensland,” Queensland’s Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham said.
“Australia and the rest of the world need metallurgical and pulverised coal injection (PCI) coal as essential ingredients in manufacturing steel.
“That’s steel for building homes, and to manufacture the vast structures of wind turbines and components for the burgeoning electric vehicles industry for the renewables sector. The world needs our metallurgical coal as part of the transition to renewables.”
The five areas made up of 147 sub-blocks are one 60 square kilometres area north-east of Moranbah with potential for metallurgical coal; three areas of six square kilometres east of Blackwater for thermal coal and/or PCI coal; and one 380 square kilometres area south-east of Emerald with potential for thermal coal.
Bidding companies have to offer cash with their bid. The preferred tenderers must also meet environmental, native title and other approvals, as well as land access requirements before on-ground exploration can start.
Tenders close on October 10.
The Queensland Govenrment has also released 11 areas totalling 3741 square kilometres for petroleum and gas exploration in the Bowen and Surat basins.