The Queensland Resources Council is urging the State Government to commit extra funding from its $3 billion COVID-19 stimulus package to a key exploration initiative.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI), including the recent $10 million round matching industry investment, was paying dividends for Queensland.
“Exploration spending in Queensland increased almost $100 million or 30 per cent to $408 million last financial year,” Mr Macfarlane said.
The amount spent exploring for coal was up 61 per cent to $222 million, petroleum exploration was up 20 per cent to $233 million, gold was up 6 per cent to $71 million and copper was up 22 per cent to $72 million.
“Exploration gives us new resource discoveries, new resource projects, new resource investment, new resource jobs, new resource exports and ultimately new resource royalties for all Queenslanders,” Mr Macfarlane said.
In June, QRC presented the Government with a 40-point Resource Industry Recovery Agenda, and one of the proposals was a $100 million four-year boost to the CEI.
Mr Macfarlane said Treasurer Cameron Dick had confirmed the resource and agriculture industries would be eligible for support under the $3 billion stimulus funding planned to spend over four years.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government had been a strong supporter of the resources sector and recognised it as one of the traditional economic strengths that underpinned Queensland’s recovery strategy.
He said the $500 million Backing Queensland Business Investment Fund would be open to applications from companies that could demonstrate a commercial return on the government’s investment.
“The government has already provided a $10 million four-year booster pack of grants to supercharge exploration and to drive future resources jobs,” he said.
The package also included:
- a 12-month waiver of rent on exploration land due between 1 April and 1 September
- a freeze on fees and charges until 1 July 2021
- releasing almost 7000 square kilometres of land for gas and mineral exploration
- bringing forward $2.8 million in grant funds for innovative exploration in the North West Minerals Province.