More than 800 square kilometres of land has been set aside for the resources industry, as part of Queensland’s first exploration forward plan released today.
Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham released the first annual exploration program today, setting out the 826 square kilometres of land to be made available for minerals, coal, and petroleum and gas exploration over the next 12 months.
The seven areas range from Cloncurry in the north-west, though the Bowen Basin in central Queensland, to near Surat in the south-west.
“The Palaszczuk Government recognises that exploration is vital to discovering the resources that will drive the resources industry and help to deliver job creation, regional development and economic growth for Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.
“I’ve listened to industry and I have listened to the community, as we committed to do as a government.
“They want clear information that is timely and no surprises, and that’s what an annual exploration program will deliver.”
The areas to be released are:
- 102 sq km for minerals exploration in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province, to be released by September 2016
- 451 sq km for petroleum and gas exploration near Surat and Injune between October and December 2016
- 273 sq km for coal exploration between Middlemount and Blackwater in the Bowen Basin between April and June 2017.
The seven areas will be released for competitive tenders, and the successful tenderers will have to meet environmental and other requirements, including negotiating land access and compensation agreements with landholders and, where applicable, negotiate native title arrangements with traditional owners.
The release comes on top of the exploration concessions announced earlier this year, which allow explorers a reduction of up to 50 per cent over 2016 and 2017 on the expenditure they have to commit under their exploration permit.
“An annual forward program will allow resources explorers and miners to plan ahead for future opportunities,” Dr Lynham said.
“The resource sector is critical to our economy and our regional communities and that’s why we continue to provide a positive investment environment with our royalties freeze, the lowest payroll tax rate in the country and our heavy investment in innovation.”