The Queensland Government has joined other Australian states in extending financial support for explorers in a bid to increase job opportunities in the resources sector.
The Queensland Government’s support package for explorers waives rents on exploration land due between 1 April and 1 September for a period of 12 months. It also freezes fees and charges until 1 July 2021.
The state government is also releasing approximately 7000 square kilometres of land for gas and mineral exploration, including a total of 108 square kilometres near Moranbah, which will go to tender for coal exploration today.
A total of $2.8 million in Collaborative Exploration Initiative grant funds have also been brought forward to 2020-21 from a $13.8 million investment package announced late last year.
Queensland Mines Minister doctor Anthony Lynham said the package was intended to stimulate exploration to sustain the state’s explorers.
“A strong pipeline of exploration is critical to our future mineral and gas projects, to future jobs and to future business opportunities for Queensland companies,” Lynham said.
“We have to ensure the survival of our explorers, many of them small to medium businesses, until the current situation improves and the economy recovers.”
Explorers can apply for grants of up to $2000,000 from today for new and innovative exploration activities.
Lynham said the tender and grant stimulus would provide exploration companies the opportunity to develop bids at their desks while they waited for the economy to recover, capital to become available and field work to resume.
Other states including New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia had earlier announced support packages for explorers, including exploration expenditure exemptions and deferral of rents.
In late April, the New South Wales Government announced it would defer payments for exploration licences and assessment lease applicants by up to six months.
South Australian Government had also cut all exploration and licence fees and offered a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration licence holders, while the Western Australia Government offers expenditure exemptions until March 31, 2021 to explorers unable to meet the tenement’s expenditure requirements.