Queensland’s exploration sector continues to grow with more than $675 million invested in 2020, the latest ABS data reveals.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said today’s ABS statistics on Mineral and Petroleum Exploration reasserted the positive outlook within Queensland’s resources sector.
“These latest figures show that our resources sector is bouncing back stronger in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Stewart said.
“Because of all of Queensland’s health response to COVID-19, it means investors are backing our resources sector which has shown how important it is to the state’s economic recovery.”
“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palaszczuk Government made a concerted effort to back our explorers through a number of grants and land rent waivers.
“Our government is backing exploration because we know that more investment in exploration leads to more projects and more jobs for Queenslanders.”
“This latest data shows that Queensland is the place to be for explorers and it will drive the economy as we recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
The ABS data showed growth in exploration investment across coal, gas and mineral sectors.
More than $267 million was invested in petroleum and gas exploration, which is up 31 per cent on 2019.
And more than $407 million was spent in exploration for minerals and coal, which is up 15 per cent.
Gold received one of the largest boosts in exploration investment – up 30 per cent on 2019 with $91 million invested, while copper was up 11.5 per cent at $73 million
Coal exploration was up 19 per cent on the previous year with $209 million, while expenditure on exploration for silver, lead and zinc was up eight per cent to $7.9 million invested in 2020.
Minister Stewart said he hoped to see exploration investment continue its upward trend in 2021 and beyond.
“In the latest budget, our government has invested more than $29 million in exploration grants, initiatives and COVID-19 support for explorers and miners over the next few years,” Mr Stewart said.
“Our budget boost for exploration will help drive future resource projects in our state and the thousands of jobs that will flow from them.”
Queensland’s resources sector supports more than 68,000 jobs across the state and represents $49 billion in exports.
Under Annastacia Palaszczuk’s watch, $21 billion has been invested in or committed to resources projects creating 8000 jobs.