In yet another positive sign for the coal sector the state government today released more than 270 square kilometres of land in the Bowen Basin for exploration.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the announcement was a compelling case for investment into the sector with some of the best quality coal in the world already being exported from the area.
“This is a significant land release with four blocks in the coal-rich Bowen Basin opened up for bids from explorers and it’s the first land release in four years.” Mr Macfarlane said. “I congratulate the government on this proactive step to encourage more exploration which will not only benefit the coal sector but is good news for local communities and local businesses. It has been 15 months since the government appointed its first Resources Investment Commissioner focused on identifying and driving economic opportunities for the sector and local and overseas investors will be interested in these blocks.”
The land will be released nearby existing mines in Middlemount, Cook and Blackwater which are serviced by the Goonyella and Blackwater rail networks.
Queensland’s Exploration Council (QEC) Chairman Geoff Dickie said certainty is starting to return to exploration.
“It comes at a time when there is increasing confidence in the exploration sector, and opens up some particularly prospective areas,” said Mr Dickie.
The announcement follows Queensland’s move up the global ladder as the fourth best jurisdiction in the world for its mineral potential and the 10th best jurisdiction as an investment destination.
QRC’s current data shows that in 2015-16, the state’s coal industry’s total contribution of $32.7 billion, supported more than 180,000 jobs. The coal industry spent $11.3 billion in Queensland on more than 10,700 local businesses and almost 500 community organisations.