Record Funding for Critical Mineral Exploration in Qld

Minister for Resources The Honourable Scott Stewart
  • A record number of projects have received funding under a $5 million exploration grants program.
  • 25 projects across Queensland will receive up to $250,000 each to find critical mineral deposits.
  • There is a potential $500 billion in critical mineral deposits in Queensland's North West Minerals Province.

A record number of projects aiming to strike critical mineral deposits have received funding under the Palaszczuk Government's $5 million exploration grants program.

The latest Collaborative Exploration Initiative round supports 25 projects across the state, providing up to $250,000 each, to find minerals the world needs to decarbonise.

Nearly three quarters of all successful projects are focused on finding new copper deposits – a mineral needed for solar, hydro, thermal and wind energy systems.

This comes after the Palaszczuk Government announced a $5 billion investment into CopperString 2032 to unlock the potential $500 billion in critical mineral deposits in the North West Minerals Province.

Successful recipient Red Metals will use the funding to drill test the potential for a deep copper deposit on Wondoola Station – about 130km north of the Ernest Henry mine near Cloncurry.

Program data will be made public to help fuel more critical mineral discoveries.

Quotes attributable to Resources Minister Scott Stewart:

"To unlock the potential $500 billion worth of critical mineral deposits in our North West Minerals Province, our explorers have to find them first," Mr Stewart said.

"Our $5 million program will give our explorers the resources they need to take on financially risky projects that could lead to Queensland's next big critical minerals discovery.

"The Palaszczuk Government is laying the foundation for a prosperous and enduring critical minerals sector through backing our explorers and injecting $5 billion into CopperString 2032.

"And with the World Mining Congress coming up soon in Brisbane, we're eager to show the world that Queensland is the place to be when it comes to investing in critical minerals."

Quotes attributable to Red Metals Managing Director Robert Rutherford:

"When it comes to exploration, you've got to kiss a lot of cane toads before you find your prince," Mr Rutherford said.

"These grants allow us to fund high risk drilling which could hopefully lead to important new discoveries.

"Our surveying suggests that the Wondoola target shares geophysical similarities with the anomaly over Ernest Henry, only it is deeper under cover.

"Queensland is long overdue for a big discovery, and this program supports drill tests on these expensive, deep covered plays to bringing forward new discoveries.

"I am also a great believer in the sharing of data as it helps generate more new ideas and concepts speeding up the discovery process."

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