While announcing the recent round of successful tenders for the exploration of coal and minerals in Queensland, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, declared more land open for exploration across the State. The move to unlock further land for exploration follows a recent geological report commissioned by the Queensland Government that substantially upgraded coal reserve estimates across the State’s coal provinces.

Coal reserves upgrade

The announcements were said by Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, to evidence the opportunities for investments in the sector. A recent geological report, commissioned by the Queensland Government, has found that Queensland is host to 63 billion tonnes of untapped coal deposits, an increase of 29 billion tonnes from the previous estimate. This includes more than 14 billion tonnes of coking coal, which is used to make steel for the building and manufacturing sectors.

Four companies, Denham Coal, Queensland Coal Investments Pty Ltd, Enex Togara Pty Ltd and Wandoan Holdings Pty Ltd will soon commence exploration for coal over 369 km² of land in the Bowen and Surat Basins. A search for zinc, lead, copper and silver deposits, undertaken by Red Metal Limited, will also begin across 400km² of land 250km north of Mt Isa. These tenders complete the State’s 2017-18 Annual Exploration Program.

Current exploration opportunities

The current Queensland Exploration Program, released in June 2018, offers up a further 44,000km² of land for exploration tenders in the next round of resource projects. Additionally, $2 million in Collaborative Exploration Initiative grants have been made available by the Government to start-up 15 exploration projects in the north-west of the State.

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