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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    New exploration data a boost for minerals and energy explorers

    Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    New exploration data a boost for minerals and energy explorers

    The Bligh Government is providing a boost to the mining industry with the release of new information to help stimulate mineral and energy exploration.

    New airborne geophysical survey data covering more than 200,000 square kilometres of the remote Cooper and Eromanga basins in Queensland’s south-west will be publicly available on 15 April.

    Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the new data would help explorers to define exploration targets with greater certainty.

    “This major project involved three geophysical surveys of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins, covering approximately 12 per cent of the state,” Mr Robertson said.

    “The surveys provide new structural information about the geothermal and petroleum potential of the region and are designed to help industry target new exploration opportunities.

    “That’s important because today’s exploration means tomorrow’s mining and energy projects and jobs.

    “The Bligh Government is supporting the mining industry through this downturn.

    “Through our Smart Mining – Future Prosperity program the government is increasing exploration investment in Queensland and providing direct grants to explorers.

    “Since September 2006 some $19 million has been allocated for collecting new data such as this.”

    Mr Robertson said the Cooper and Eromanga basins are major sources of oil and gas and played an important role in ensuring certainty of gas supplies in Queensland during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    “Discovery of additional petroleum and gas resources in these basins is highly likely and should encourage diversity and competition in the supply of gas,” he said.

    “The availability of this geophysical data will greatly assist the next generation of explorers to find these deposits.

    “Geothermal explorers in this region are also eagerly awaiting this data to enable them to better define their targets.”

    Mr Robertson said the Bligh Government recognises the need to support the search for and development of cleaner sources of energy.

    “Geophysical surveying in this region provides the double benefit of assisting the exploration of gas as well as clean geothermal energy.

    “There are also opportunities for mineral discoveries in the south-east of the survey area,” he said.

    “Explorers will be able to use this data to assess the potential for new mineral and energy resources and this could lead to increased jobs in this remote part of the state.”

    The Cooper Basin East, West and North airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys cover respectively 76,000, 75,000 and 60,000 square kilometres.

    The new data has been collected to the west of Quilpie and the south of Longreach to the Queensland-New South Wales border.

    Four major producers are operating in the area with production during 2007-08 being 512.3 megalitres (3.2 million barrels) of oil and 2274 million cubic metres (85.2 petajoules) of gas.

    Airborne magnetic and radiometric data from the three surveys was collected along lines 400 metres apart and at an altitude of about 60 metres. Up to six planes from three contractors were utilised in the data collection.

    The surveys have been designed to cover areas where the state and federal governments have recently collected gravity data, doubling the benefit to the explorers.

    “Explorers can use data from these surveys with other information such as seismic data, geological maps, and drill hole information to better target prospective mineral and energy areas,” Mr Robertson said.

    All data acquired for Queensland are released online at Geoscience Australia as they become available or on DVD from the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy.

    Media contact: 3224 7332