A $10 million-plus Queensland Government booster pack will supercharge exploration for new economy minerals and support mine technology innovators to drive future mine jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said $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”.
“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,” Ms Palaszczuk said
“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 Government wants Queensland to become the leading global exporter of new economy minerals, as it did with LNG a decade ago.
“This booster pack has the potential to create the next round of mega resource projects and jobs of the future,” Dr Lynham said.
Regional Development Minister Glenn Butcher said funding of $650,000 would help small businesses in the critical mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector to accelerate commercialisation of their ideas.
“Queensland is a global leader in METS services, and the sector employs about 20,000 people across the state,” Mr Butcher said.
“These funds will get more products and services to market, expand customer bases and grow jobs in a sector where Queensland business already has a competitive edge.”
Currently China and the Congo 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 – Australian Mines’ Sconi project, a cobalt-nickel-scandium mine near Townsville, Aeon Metals Walford Creek base metals project 350km north-west of Mount Isa and Tungsten Mining’s Watershed project near Mount Carbine in Far North Queensland.
“Alone, these three projects could create more than $2 billion in investment and up to 2000 jobs during construction and operation,” Dr Lynham said.
The $10 million will be made available as exploration grants of up to $200,000 over four years. It comes on top of $2.8 million in exploration grants brought forward in the $13.8 million New Economy Minerals Initiative.
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Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk