The North West Minerals Province has the potential to become the "cobalt capital" of Australia, says Queensland's Mines Minister.
Speaking in Mount Isa on Wednesday, Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the NWMP could become a key global supplier of the mineral, critical in the production of mobile phones, wind turbine generators and electric cars.
Dr Lynham paid a visit to the John Campbell Miles Drill Core Centre when he observed drill samples from Aeon Metals's Walford Creek copper-cobalt exploration site near Doomadgee
"The Queensland Government's core library at Mount Isa supports industry in providing essential geological information to help explore for these essential metals," Dr Lynham said.
"It is exciting to see this core library being used in conjunction with the Geological Survey of Queensland's geo-science database, offering physical and digital information to help find more of these valuable commodities in Queensland."
Dr Lynham said the Aoen Metal samples he saw were collected as part of a government $3.6 million grant from the Collaborative Exploration Initiative to help deliver significant economic benefits to Queensland for decades to come.
"Our CEI grants program from the last two round has helped 21 companies, such as Aeon Metals, with funding." he said. CEI has been run for over a decade to help meet growing global demand for the battery minerals and rare earths in this highly prospective region.
Aeon Metals Exploration Manager, Dan Johnson said Walford Creek, 350km north west of Mount Isa, was their highest priority tenement.
"This project is an advanced world-class copper-cobalt project and one of the highest-grade significant cobalt deposits in Australia," Mr Johnson said.
"Exploration is a high-risk, high-cost activity and the Queensland Government's support was a big help, as it alleviated some of the risk for us to try innovative approaches such as seismic surveys in new areas."
Dr Lynham said Aeon was well-placed to become Queensland's next big success story.
"Our faith in their innovative approach is paying off," he said. "Resources is one of our most important export sectors and we want to encourage the world to invest in Queensland.
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