Queensland’s minerals and energy exploration industry has put policy and regulations under the microscope at the fifth annual Exploration Scorecard released last week.
The fifth edition marks the mid-point of a decade-long journey, a key milestone for reflection of achievements and charting a course of what needs to be achieved over the next five years to achieve QEC’s 2020 for Queensland to be recognised as an exploration leader.
In a challenging market of low cyclical commodity prices – offset in part by a lower Australian dollar – the scorecard results were on par with industry expectation, with a slight stall in overall progress for 2015.
Despite this however, for the second year in a row, the explorer survey recorded strong improvements in perceptions of exploration permit processing.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said the fundamentals of exploration in Queensland were “irresistible”.
“It’s no secret that the short-term outlook for commodities is weak but it is a common malaise, and not a point to structural decline,” Mr Roche said.
“Queensland has largely untapped mineral and energy reserves; and despite the current downturn, long-term growth in global demand for resources is assured.”
Last week, the International Energy Agency released its annual World Energy Outlook Report which confirmed forecasts for strong growth for export opportunities for our thermal coal, coking coal, gas and uranium.
According to the IEA, Australia’s coal exports are set to grow by over one-third, with 45 per cent of the growth being coking coal, which remains an essential ingredient in the making of steel. The report also observed strong opportunity to expand Queensland’s gas export sector, with demand for natural gas in Asia set to skyrocket by 160 percent. With the right policy settings, the outlook for uranium is also strong on the back of an expected 86 percent increase in nuclear electricity generation