Qld invests in new exploration ventures
Mining News Pro - The Queensland government has announced a A$10-million funding package as part of its economic recovery plans to assist in funding exploration for new economy minerals and support mine technology innovators to drive future mine jobs.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said A$10-million in exploration grants would speed the development of new mines to take advantage of high domestic and international demand in the growing “green economy”.

“Our mining industry is looking for new minerals like vanadium which are in demand for technology like battery storage, and Queensland has huge potential to open up new reserves in our regions,” the Premier said.

“This funding boost is part of the second stage of our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan, as we take the state forward in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Queensland is rich in the minerals needed to manufacture the computers and smartphones we are communicating with, the renewable energy components needed to power them and the batteries we need to store the power.”

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the aim was for Queensland to become the leading global exporter of new economy minerals, as it did with liquefied natural gas (LNG) a decade ago.

“This booster pack has the potential to create the next round of mega resource projects and jobs of the future,” Lynham said.

He pointed out that China and the Congo currently dominate the global market in new economy minerals, which include traditional minerals like copper zinc and nickel, as well non-traditional like cobalt, rare earths and vanadium.

The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the demand for new economy minerals with the increased use of digital communication technology.

Queensland already has some projects in the pipeline, including Australian Mines’ Sconi cobalt/nickel/scandium project, Aeon Metals Walford Creek base metals project and Tungsten Mining’s Watershed project.

“Alone, these three projects could create more than A$2-billion in investment and up to 2 000 jobs during construction and operation,” Lynham said.

The A$10-million will be made available as exploration grants of up to A$200 000 over four years. It comes on top of A$2.8-million in exploration grants brought forward in the A$13.8-million New Economy Minerals initiative.

Furthermore, the government would invest A$650 000 to help small businesses in the critical mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector to accelerate commercialisation of their ideas.

The funds would get more products and services to market, expand customer bases and grow jobs in a sector where Queensland business already has a competitive edge.

The METS sector in Queensland employs some 20 000 across the state.

Share the news

In Picture