Desktop ‘exploration’ seeks new economy minerals

Published Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 at 03:30 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Exploration from a desktop, rather than with a drill rig, has unearthed almost 600 potential deposits of sought-after new economy minerals across Queensland.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said a half-million-dollar project had identified nearly 600 new mineral occurrences, including six possible rare earth systems.

The joint project with the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute is also creating a free digital tool for explorers to identify new priority areas for new economy minerals like cobalt needed for renewable and advanced technology.

“Unearthing potential new deposits could mean new projects which means new jobs which is an important part of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plan from COVID-19,” Mr Stewart said.

“Queensland is rich in new economy minerals, but there’s a lot of time, effort and money that goes into exploration and proving-up resources before new projects and jobs ever result

“The Palaszczuk Government’s $23 million New Economy Minerals Initiative is simplifying and supporting this initial legwork to help get more projects and jobs off the ground.”

The Department of Resources and University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute have been working together for 18 months compiling, analysing and pulling together data for the free digital tool.

When it’s completed, explorers will be able to tap in to find out more about where minerals like tin, tungsten, silica, rare earths and cobalt could be discovered.

The latest incentive for explorers comes as new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show exploration investment on the rise in Queensland.

In the 12 months to June 30 this year, more than $706 million was invested in exploration in Queensland, seeking that next wave of projects and resources jobs.

“That’s 10 per cent up on the previous year and an even more impressive 60 per cent up on the same period three years ago,” Mr Stewart said.

“These figures show the Palaszczuk Government’s effort and investment in boosting exploration is paying dividends.”

The project is part of the Government’s five-year New Economy Minerals Initiative that aims to develop, promote and understand the state’s new economy mineral wealth and potential through a broad corridor from Mt Isa to Townsville. 


Media contact: Chris Lees 0434 859 940