Queensland's premier says a $10 million-plus Queensland Government booster pack will supercharge exploration for new economy minerals and support mine technology innovators to drive future mine jobs.
Annastacia Palaszczuk said $10 million in exploration grants announced Tuesday would speed the development of new mines to take advantage of high domestic and international demand in the growing "green economy".
"This funding boost is part of the second stage of our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan, as we take the state forward in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Ms Palaszczuk said
"Queensland is rich in the minerals needed to manufacture the computers and smartphones we are communicating with, the renewable energy components needed to power them and the batteries we need to store the power."
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Government wants Queensland to become the leading global exporter of new economy minerals.
"This booster pack has the potential to create the next round of mega resource projects and jobs of the future," Dr Lynham said.
Currently China and the Congo dominate the global market in new economy minerals, which include traditional minerals like copper zinc and nickel, as well non-traditional like cobalt, rare earths and vanadium.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the demand for new economy minerals with the increased use of digital communication technology.
Dr Lynhams said Aeon Metals Walford Creek base metals project 350km north-west of Mount Isa was one of three new economy minerals projects that could create more than $2 billion in investment and up to 2000 jobs during construction and operation.
The $10 million will be made available as exploration grants of up to $200,000 over four years. It comes on top of $2.8 million in exploration grants brought forward in the $13.8 million New Economy Minerals Initiative.
There will also be funding of $650,000 to help small businesses in the critical mining equipment, technology and services sector to accelerate commercialisation of ideas.
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies welcomed the funding.
"This initiative will help the discovery and development of new mines and demonstrates the commitment of the Queensland Government to advance its new economy or critical minerals industry," AMEC Chief Executive, Warren Pearce said.
"Queensland has huge potential for the discovery and development of new economy or critical minerals, and the $10m booster pack will be a strong attractor for new investment into Queensland."
"This nation leading package further cements Queensland as a destination for critical minerals investment and will ultimately help the State become a major contributor of minerals into battery and renewable energy technologies."
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