PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has released more than 7 000 km2 of land in the Bowen and Surat basins for exploration under its 2020 Queensland Exploration Programme.
In the 2020 programme the proposed tenders are scheduled to open for coal in March and petroleum in April, with land awarded to successful bidders by September 2020.
“This exploration programme release supports the building of the next pipeline of resource projects,” Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
“For Queensland to remain a resources powerhouse and to meet the world’s demand for resources, exploration investment is critical,” Lynham said.
“To keep exploration moving we have released a record 64 000 km2 in our previous three exploration programmes. Like our previous land releases our 2020 Queensland Exploration Programme give explorers a clear line of sight so they can invest in confidence.”
In the 12 months to November 2019, Queensland’s resources industry generated more than $70-billion in exports and directly employed more than 66 000 workers, with Lynham noting that from September 2017 to September 2019 annual exploration investment in Queensland had risen by 27%.
The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the new land release, with CEO Ian Macfarlane noting that the release of land for exploration was essential in creating new jobs, growing exports and supporting regional Queensland.
“We have been very supportive of the release of areas for exploration for all resources and the development of gas to service the domestic market. A proactive exploration programme secures tomorrow’s resource industry while supporting jobs, many of which will be in regional Queensland,” he said.