In our last blog post, we covered the world’s northernmost mines. Now, in part two of the series, we travel to the other end of the world and look at the southernmost mines on the planet, including...
Queensland’s state government has invited mining companies and explorers from around the world to throw their hats into the ring and compete for rights to explore Queensland’s mineral province in the state’s north west.
The invite is part of the state’s first land release, where companies have been asked to submit a tender to explore 102 square kilometres of land in the province. At least two other areas are planned for release within the next 12 months, in an attempt to unlock further investment in the state’s north west.
The current tender area is about 8-kilometres south west of Cloncurry and believed prospective for gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver and phosphate.
Queensland Minster for State Development and Natural Resources Dr Anthony Lynham said the government was accepting tenders for this release between 16 September 2016 and 2 February 2017. A decision is expected to be made by July 2017.
As part of the tender, the Queensland government is seeking companies with the experience and capabilities to explore and develop the area – including meeting environmental, native title and other approval requirements.
“Queensland is one of the world’s leading destinations for mining and resources investment, and exploration is the first step towards future jobs and regional economic development,” Dr Lynham said.
The other two regions due for release include 451 square kilometres for gas and petroleum exploration near Surat and Injune. This region is expected to be open for tenders by the end of 2016.
For coal focused explorers, the state government has dedicated 273 square kilometres in the Bowen Basin. This area will be available for tender submissions in April 2017.
Dr Lynham said it was critical for Queensland’s future to continue facilitating exploration and investment in the state’s resources.
“Our exploration concessions provide a 50 per cent expenditure concession for mineral and coal explorers and, as of 1 September, explorers are expected to receive more than $30 million in financial relief over the next two years,” Dr Lynham added.
Queensland’s north west mineral province encompasses more than 60,000 square kilometres of land ranging from the Northern Territory border, up towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, then east to Julia Creek and ending south at Birdsville.
Currently this region produces more than $8 billion minerals annually and accounts for more than 70 per cent of Queensland’s mineral output.
As well as known occurrences of gold, copper, lead etcetera, there have been more recently discovered deposits prospective for molybdenum-rhenium and graphite in the province.
Adding to the region’s attractiveness for grass roots exploration, is the presence of infrastructure.
Existing infrastructure includes road, rail and air with major ports available in Queensland. A rail link between the port of Townsville transports more than 30 different commodities.
The region also has a range of available support services including plant and equipment businesses.
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