PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has received a record number of bids for government exploration grants, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said on Wednesday.
He noted that applications were being assessed for the latest round of exploration grants, with more than double the previous responses received.
The state government brought forward the A$2.8-million grant round as part of a multimillion-dollar Covid-19 package to support the survival and revival of Queensland’s explorers.
“It’s clear that explorers were looking for stimulus to get through the Covid-19 storm,” he said.
“The government’s exploration stimulus package is going to help keep the pipeline of future resources projects and jobs flowing as Queensland recovers.”
Lynham noted that while the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed that exploration investment for the year to the end of March was up more than 30% on the previous year, many enterprises have since put exploration on hold, and that junior explorers were having difficulty sourcing capital.
The grants offer explorers up to A$200 000 to encourage innovative exploration across the state, including the North West Minerals Province, home to new economy minerals like silica, titanium, lithium and vanadium.
The government’s resources relief package also included a 12-month waiver of rent on exploration land owing between April and September, a freeze on fees and charges until July 2021, and releasing almost 7 000 km2 of land for gas and mineral exploration.