THE POTENTIAL has grown for more Queensland jobs, exports and royalties from the State’s critical resources sector, with a 22 percent increase in exploration spending for minerals and petroleum over the last 12 months.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said total investment in exploration for minerals and petroleum was $442.1 million last financial year – an $80 million or 22 percent increase – compared with 2016-17.
“An increased investment is an increased investment in future jobs, future exports and future royalties for Queenslanders,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The Queensland Resources Council is working with the Government to ensure we have stable and predictable policy for the sustainable, competitive and stable development of the State’s resources for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”
Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector was already performing well on jobs by creating a new role every hour, on exports by delivering $1 billion in overseas sales every week, and on royalties delivering almost $100 million to the Palaszczuk Government every week.
“The increase in exploration spending has been across commodities and reflects the role the resources sector plays in supporting new infrastructure, the expansion of renewable energy, the growth in electric vehicles and battery storage,” he said.
“The strongest growth was in base metals - copper, silver, lead, zinc, nickel and cobalt with exploration increasing by 53% over the 2017-18 financial year from $57.6 million to $88 million.”
During 2017-18, the growth included:
- gold exploration up 21% from $51 million in 2016-17 to $61.7 million in 2017-18;
- copper exploration increased by 41% over the 2017-18 financial year, from $38.2 million to 53.8 million; and
- petroleum exploration increased by 5% over the 2017-18 financial year from $154.9 million to $162.6 million. Up 22% over the quarter.
Queensland Exploration Council chair Brad John said the increased exploration investment reflected not only confidence in the sector and its future, but it also highlighted the importance of the Palaszczuk Government’s Collaborative Exploration Initiative and its commitment to release more land for exploration.
The Government has been seeking expressions of interest from explorers for:
- 44,000 square kilometres for gas and coal
- 1107 square kilometres in the North West Minerals Province
- authorities to prospect for petroleum and gas over 17,245 square kilometres
- 540 square kilometres for coal exploration