Coal mines in  the Bowen Basin in Queensland.
Coal mines in the Bowen Basin in Queensland.

State unlocks more land for mining exploration

THE State Government is unlocking more land across Queensland for explorers to identify the next generation of resources projects including new deposits of coal, lead and copper.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has announced the successful minerals and coal tenders in the state's North West Minerals Province as well as the Bowen and Surat basins.

"Unlocking land for resource exploration - whether it is to uncover coal, gas or minerals - is vital to continuing resource development, whether it's for mining jobs or royalties" Dr Lynham said.

"New coal deposits offer energy security and a long term economic future for all Queenslanders."

Junior explorer Red Metal Limited will soon be able to seek out new zinc, lead, copper and silver deposits across 400 sq km of land located 250km north of Mount Isa.

Four companies - Denham Coal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Coal, Queensland Coal Investments, Enex Togara and Wandoan Holdings will be able to commence exploratory work over 369sq km of land in the Bowen and Surat basins.

These areas are near Moranbah, west of Mackay, Blackwater west of Rockhampton and Taroom, west of Maryborough close to existing mines or mining leases.

The new tenders came on the back of Queensland's record 223 million tonnes of coal exports last year, and a major new geological report which shows Queensland is sitting on almost double the amount of coal than was last known.

All explorers have to negotiate land access agreements and fulfil all existing environmental and Native Title requirements before they are granted exploration permits.

These tenders complete the Queensland Government's 2017-18 Annual Exploration Program released in October 2017.

The new land release and exploration injection follow expansion in the North West Minerals Province, including the completion of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline from Tennant Creek in the Territory to the Isa, the opening of Dugald River zinc mine and the re-opening of the Lady Loretta zinc mine.

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