Queensland’s exploration sector continues to grow with more than $675 million invested in 2020, according to Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.
The state’s Resources Minister Scott Stewart said ABS statistics on mineral and petroleum exploration reasserted the positive outlook within Queensland’s resources sector.
“These latest figures show that our resources sector is bouncing back stronger in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stewart said.
“Because of all of Queensland’s health response to COVID-19, it means investors are backing our resources sector which has shown how important it is to the state’s economic recovery.”
Stewart further highlighted that during COVID-19, the government backed explorers through a number of grants and and rent waivers.
The ABS data showed growth in exploration investment across coal, gas and mineral sectors.
More than $267 million was invested in petroleum and gas exploration, which is up 31 per cent on 2019.
Stewart said he hoped to see exploration investment continue its upward trend in 2021 and beyond.
“In the latest budget, our government has invested more than $29 million in exploration grants, initiatives and COVID-19 support for explorers and miners over the next few years,” he said.
“Our budget boost for exploration will help drive future resource projects in our state and the thousands of jobs that will flow from them.”
Queensland’s resources sector supports more than 68,000 jobs across the state and represents $49 billion in exports.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has invested $21 billion in and committed to resources projects creating 8000 jobs.
In June last year, Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said five parcels were to be released for tender on June 18, 2020 around Moonie and Injune in the resource-rich Surat and Bowen Basins.
This followed May’s announcement from the Queensland Government, which opened more than 6700km2 of land for gas exploration, with the explorers to develop opportunities to supply Australian users.
In addition, the release of land came weeks before the tenders closed for 12 prospective parcels of land open for tender between Blackwater and Goondiwindi.