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The State Government has unveiled a $13.8 million investment package to tap into the ‘new economy’ minerals bounty in North and North West Queensland.

In Mount Isa this week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the five-year package aimed to encourage new exploration, re-investigate old mines and probe geological information stores.

“Global demand is set to soar for cobalt and rare earth minerals needed for wind turbines, generators and batteries and copper needed for electric cars and the North is rich in these new economy mineral,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the package was based on consultation with the industry and would hit the right mark at the right time.

“Queensland has globally-significant reserves of copper, nickel, zinc,  graphite, and molybdenum and major deposits of cobalt, rhenium, scandium, tantalum, niobium, lithium, rare earths and vanadium,” he said.

He was speaking from Washington DC , where he is part of a delegation led by Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan to further develop the US-Australia trading partnership on critical minerals.

The package announced today comprises:
  • $4.8 million to re-examine old mine tailings and core samples for new age minerals
  • $9 million to unearth more and better geological information to help industry identify new projects, including $3.5 million in industry grants over five years for new and innovative exploration activities
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the information drive would use a range of exploration techniques, including aerial magnetic and gravity surveys, as well as encouraging exploration companies to explore promising areas themselves with the extra grants.

“The findings from our own surveys and studies will encourage further exploration and the eventual future development of new mining projects in Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

“This is a practical way to help industry to explore Queensland further, and for new minerals, focusing on a massive corridor reaching from the west of Mount Isa to Townsville.”

State targets ‘new economy’ minerals