The Queensland Government released its first annual exploration forward program today, setting out the 826sq km to be made available for minerals, coal, and petroleum and gas exploration over the next 12 months.
The seven areas range from Cloncurry in the north-west, through the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, to near Surat in the south-west.
“The Palaszczuk Government recognises that exploration is vital to discovering the resources that will drive the resources industry and help to deliver job creation, regional development and economic growth for Queensland,” Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
“I’ve listened to industry and I have listened to the community, as we committed to do as a government.
“They want clear information that is timely and no surprises, and that’s what an annual exploration program will deliver.”
The areas to be released are:
- 102sq km for minerals exploration in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province, to be released by September 2016
- 451sq km for petroleum and gas exploration near Surat and Injune between October and December 2016
- 273sq km for coal exploration between Middlemount and Blackwater in the Bowen Basin between April and June 2017.
The seven areas will be released for competitive tenders, and the successful tenderers will have to meet environmental and other requirements, including negotiating land access and compensation agreements with landholders.
The release comes on top of the exploration concessions announced earlier this year, which allow explorers a reduction of up to 50 per cent over 2016 and 2017 on the expenditure they have to commit under their exploration permit.
Queensland Exploration Council chair Dr Geoff Dickie said the news was welcome in what was a very difficult environment for explorers, particularly for raising capital.
“Exploration is the engine room for Queensland’s resources sector and initiatives that help reduce costs and red tape can only benefit all Queenslanders through the development of our natural resources,” Dr Dickie said.
Minerals exploration will also continue to be available under the relinquishment and access provisions.
For more information about the annual exploration program and exploration tendering visit dnrm.qld.gov.au/resources-tenders