Recognising the important role the resources sector will play in spurring Queensland's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this week the Queensland Government announced the tender process under the State's 2020 exploration program would recommence.

A legal alert we published earlier in the year detailed the Queensland Government's unlocking of more than 7,000km2 of coal and gas exploration acreage in the Bowen and Surat Basins.

Tender CLR2020-1

The two coal exploration areas released in the Bowen Basin (35km² and 73km² ) reopened for tender on 7 May and will now close on 25 June 2020.

Source: Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Tender PLR2020-1

In addition, 12 areas for petroleum and gas exploration across the Bowen and Surat Basins (ranging from 76km2 to 1,414km2 ) will reopen for tender on 14 May and will close on 9 July 2020.

Source: Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

The tender documents have since been updated to include weightings for the tender evaluation criteria, following recommendations from a Queensland Audit Office report.

The tendering process otherwise remains principally as before, with tenderers required to comply with land access and native title requirements and, depending on any applicable land use contraints, meet other approval requirements before commencing exploration activities.

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