The John Campbell Miles drill core storage facility in Mount Isa will play a key role in a new state government funding initiative to find the minerals of the future.
Global demand is set to soar for cobalt and rare earth minerals needed for wind turbines, generators and batteries and copper needed for electric cars and the North West is rich in these new economy minerals.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham paid a visit to the facility near Mount Isa Airport on Tuesday during the two-day cabinet meeting in town and said it would play a role in the $13.8m rare earth minerals funding for the North West.
"We need to find those minerals of the future, minerals needed for renewable energy, mobile phones, computing, new technology," Dr Lynham said.
Dr Lynham said the drill core storage facility held geological samples that go back half a century.
"But in the 1960s they were not interested in rare earths or cobalts, they were interested in copper, nickel, lead and silver, they didn't look for those new economy minerals," Dr Lynham said.
"So now with that money going back through these core samples, through old mine shafts, through tailing dams, we will find overlooked minerals for the new resources here in the North West Minerals Province. We know they're here we just have to find out where and how much of it there is."
It's part of the $33m economic diversification package and of the $13.8m, $9m will go to aerial surveys while the remainder will examine old core samples and tailings dams on mine sites.
"The information drive will use a range of exploration techniques, including aerial magnetic and gravity surveys, and encourage companies to explore promising areas with the extra grants," Dr Lynham said.
"The findings from our own surveys and studies will encourage further exploration and the eventual future development of new mining projects in Queensland.
"This is a practical way to help industry to explore Queensland further, and for new minerals, focusing on a massive corridor reaching from the west of Mount Isa to Townsville."
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