State Govt opens up free, public access to exploration data in ‘momentous’ day for state’s explorers

Photo | QRC Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane and QEC Chair, Kim Wainwright

All eyes are on exploration in Queensland this week, with a second announcement from the State Government that supports the future development of Queensland’s mineral wealth.

Yesterday’s opening of the fifth round of funding through the Collaborative Exploration Initiative was followed by today’s public release of new and historical exploration data that will help explorers in their quest for the next big discovery.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane has welcomed the announcement by Resources Minister Scott Stewart in Parliament that almost 20,000 new exploration reports spanning the past 50 years are now publicly and freely available.

“Today’s announcement places Queensland firmly in front of competing resources jurisdictions,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“Both the QRC and our exploration arm, the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC), have been advocating for many years for the government to provide access to this information, most recently in our 2020 QRC Streamlining Report,” he said.

“Combined with 60,000 existing reports, the expanded database will be a boon for our explorers and should further lift investment in exploration activity in Queensland.

“And it couldn’t be a timelier boost for the resources sector to maintain its vital role in economic recovery during and after the COVID pandemic.”

QEC Chair Kim Wainwright said access to pre-competitive geoscience data is a key driver in growing exploration activity.

“This data release will contribute significantly to discoveries of the mineral and gas resources required to meet the world’s transition to a low-emission economy,” Ms Wainwright said.

“Much of this data has never been made publicly available before, so it is a momentous collaborative achievement by the resources sector and the Queensland Government to get to this day.”

The QEC’s annual Exploration Scorecard shows that pre-competitive geoscience data is highly valued amongst the state’s explorers, with nearly half placing it as one of the top three government initiatives beneficial to their business in 2020.

Click here to view the Geological Survey of Queensland Open Data Portal.

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