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Qld unveils its own critical minerals plans

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Photo by Bloomberg

27th June 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The Queensland government has unveiled its own Critical Minerals Strategy, which will oversee a A$245-million investment into growing Queensland’s critical minerals sector.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new strategy positioned Queensland as a global leader in delivering the critical minerals the world needs to move to a net-zero emissions future.

The strategy will work to reduce rent for new and existing exploration permits for minerals to A$0 for the next five years, worth A$55-million, and establish critical mineral zones, initially at Julia Creek/Richmond and around Mount Isa, with A$75-million to support investment and renewed focus in advancing critical minerals projects.

The state government will also establish Critical Minerals Queensland, a one-stop office to oversee the development of the sector and help drive and attract international investment.

Furthermore, A$5-million will be invested to target mining waste and tailings for critical minerals, and A$8-million towards scientific research including a circular economy initiative, while a further A$1-million will go to foster research and environmental, social and governance excellence

The strategy will also deliver the A$100-million Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund to support new investments in projects.

The Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund was officially opened this week and is aimed at enhancing the extraction and processing of critical minerals. It will also accelerate the development of battery technologies and the production of precursor or advanced materials to support Queensland jobs and economic growth.

Managed through Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), the A$100-million Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund will have two investment streams: QIC will manage the fund and oversee venture and growth capital investments, and projects seeking grant assistance will be referred to Queensland Treasury.

Eligible companies must be able to demonstrate alignment with fund objectives and Queensland government policy objectives, and assistance will be provided to new projects with demonstrated benefits to Queensland. This assistance may include building industry capability, supporting private sector infrastructure development, the creation of Queensland jobs, and upskilling and training opportunities.

“In Queensland we have some of the world’s richest mineral-producing areas, which in North Queensland alone is estimated to be worth A$500-billion dollars,” Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.

“This is why our government is investing A$5-billion to build CopperString 2032, to connect the North West Minerals Province, with the largest renewable energy zone on the east coast of Australia to mine and process critical minerals with renewable energy.

“The Queensland Critical Mineral Strategy is about growing this industry by not just mining the raw materials but also being able to process it and manufacture renewables right here in Queensland.

“I want Queensland to be a global leader, supplier and manufacturer of critical minerals and this strategy will help us achieve that.”

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said that Queensland had vast reserves of critical minerals, such as copper, zinc, vanadium and cobalt, which the world was demanding to produce batteries and renewable energy as part of plans to decarbonise.

“The Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy is about acting now to position Queensland as a global leader in this new industrial revolution.

“If we do not manufacture our future, someone else will, leaving Queensland to remain a low-end supplier of minerals and nothing more,” he added.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has welcomed the strategy, with CEO Warren Pearce saying the commitments made by the Queensland government would grow the state’s emerging critical minerals industry, helping Australia and the world to decarbonise, while at the same time creating thousands of highly skilled jobs for Queenslanders.

“Queensland is a big state with big ambitions, and today they have backed these ambitions with big action.”

“From exploration and discovery, to mining and value adding, and then battery manufacture and implementation in the energy grid, Queensland now has a clear vision and strategy for how to achieve this,” Pearce said.

“The announcements made today by Queensland Premier Palaszczuk send a strong signal to international investors that the Queensland government is serious about attracting and supporting critical minerals investment.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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