PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has awarded A$2.5-million in funding to 16 local companies to support mineral exploration work in the region.
“New economy minerals are powering the global energy transition, and we need to make sure Queensland is capitalising by allowing enterprising explorers to seek them out,” Resources Minister Scott Stewart said.
“Exploration is the backbone of growing the resources sector and creating jobs which is a key part of the government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan. Demand is booming worldwide for minerals like cobalt, copper, rare earths and vanadium for renewable energy technology.
The grants are backing exploration projects across regional Queensland, from Karumba in the north, to Mount Isa in the west, and Emerald to the south.
Stewart said data collected from the projects would be available via the government’s geological Open Data Portal, to encourage further exploration and mining investment in Queensland.
“Everything learned will be shared with the whole industry, which could lead to further exploration and more mineral mines, jobs and exports for Queensland,” he said.
The Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) grants are part of the state government’s A$23-million New Economy Minerals Initiative, which aims to support a sustainable pipeline of new economy minerals projects into the future.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies CEO Warren Pearce said Queensland continues to offer a highly supportive environment for exploration and mining investment and the CEI grants will drive greater investment into the state.
“Attracting investment into mineral exploration is the catalyst for finding new resources and developing new mines,” Pearce said.
The Queensland Exploration Council has also welcomed the investment with chairperson Kim Wainwright noting that a record 94 applications had been received for the latest round of the CEI funding, demonstrating the high level of prospectivity in Queensland.
“We know Queensland already has many of the minerals required to create the technologies of the future, so the more knowledge we have about what's out there, or under there, the closer we get to potentially defining a new generation of mineral and energy resources."
Stewart said exploration spending and employment in mineral mining was booming in Queensland, with exploration investment up 22.5% to A$705-million in the past 12 months, and exploration jobs soaring by 70.1% to 19 586.