A total of 24 explorers will start hunting across the state for potential new resources projects, and jobs that go with them, backed by almost $4 million in State COVID incentives.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the explorers would focus on the new economy minerals the world needed for advanced electronics and renewable technologies.
The funds have been bolstered by the first instalment of a $10 million-plus booster pack announced last month to supercharge exploration and to drive future resources jobs.
“Queensland has managed the health response to COVID-19 well, and now we are rolling out our economic strategy for recovery,” he said.
“Central to that recovery and jobs is our resources sector, a traditional strength of Queensland’s economy.
“The resources sector industry has fared better than others throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and these grants will help to future-proof regional economies as the state continues its economic road to recovery.
“Exploration is essential for Queensland to keep up with the soaring global demand for tech minerals and these grants are in place to put Queensland’s industry on the front foot.
“Demand for the next generation of minerals is being driven by new technologies such as electric vehicles and renewable energy products, computers, smartphones and products for the medical, defence and scientific research sectors – and Queensland is the place to get them.”
The 25 explorers will receive grants of up to $200,000 each in a joint initiative between government and industry, to help drive innovative ways to make new resource discoveries in Queensland.
The explorers will be working across the state – from Georgetown and Cairns in the north, west to Emerald, near Karumba and McKinlay in the North West Minerals Province, in the Wide Bay area inland of Bundaberg, and down to Cunnamulla in the south-west.
“These are genuine regional exploration projects bringing regional jobs, with explorers looking for minerals including copper, cobalt, silver and gold as well as a plethora of rare earth minerals,” Dr Lynham said.
“As the ‘green economy’ grows, so will the demand for minerals such as cobalt, nickel, indium and many others needed to manufacture renewable technology.
“Indium plays a big role in some of today’s most popular technology and is critical to the manufacture of solar panels – which we can already see on 620,000 rooftops right across the state”.
Steve Harper of Red River Resources said the funding would fast-track the mid-tier explorer and producer’s exploration of a historical base metals mine near Herberton.
“This site is the historic West and East Orient base metal mines which were last operational in the early 1900s,” Mr Harper said.
“This funding opens the door for us to undertake a detailed geophysical analysis to hone in on extensions to known mineralisation to gain information to target larger silver-indium rich bulk tonnage targets”
“The site holds potentially large deposits of lead, zinc, silver, and importantly indium. Our objective is to identify extensions to the known high grade vein systems deposits with a goal to discover larger bulk tonnage targets and move to production.”
Visit the Business Queensland website for a full list of projects.