Mining industry to win from funding boost for geosciences

THE Newman Government will invest $7.5 million over three years in priority geoscience projects the mining and petroleum industries believe are vital to supporting exploration growth in Queensland.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps today announced the first round of Industry Priorities Initiative projects being funded through the Government's $30 million Future Resources Program.

"We announced the package in the June State Budget for the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) to undertake seven key initiatives to support the mineral exploration industry along with energy-related exploration," Mr Cripps said.

"One of these initiatives was to consult with the Queensland Exploration Council, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association to identify GSQ projects that the industry believes will make the greatest contribution to maximising exploration success.

"Project proposals from these associations were then technically evaluated by a panel of GSQ experts.

"The four projects selected for first round funding involve the acquisition and analysis of pre-competitive geoscientific and geophysical data in geological basins right across Queensland.

"These projects will significantly raise Queensland's resource exploration investment profile as well as boost the effectiveness and success rate of resource exploration in this state."

The projects which GSQ will begin as soon as possible are:

  • A detailed $2.5 million three-year scientific study of the copper and gold mineral prospectivity of North Queensland magmatic systems where major new deposits similar to the recently opened Mount Carlton mine are likely to be found. The project area stretches from the northern Bowen Basin to west of Cairns
  • A $1.2 million electrical conductivity survey of the prospective "greenfields" region south of Dajarra in north-west Queensland to identify deeply-buried base metal-rich black shale basins and other conductive ore bodies. The project area is in the southern Mount Isa Inlier between Boulia and Mount Isa
  • A $400,000 geochemical survey in the Boulia-Birdsville region looking for chemical traces of deeply buried mineralisation in the leaves of the widespread spinifex grass cover in the northwest
  • A $100,000 program of chemical and scientific studies of drill core samples from existing drill holes from the lowermost strata of the Maryborough and Galilee Basins to determine the likelihood of petroleum and shale gas discoveries in these little-explored basins 

Mr Cripps said the resources sector was one of the four pillars of the Newman Government's economy.

"Queensland's exploration industry is vital to the ongoing success of our resources sector, and our economy more broadly," he said.

"Exploration today will help unearth the resources that will drive the mines and jobs of tomorrow. Geoscience projects like these will help ensure Queensland remains globally competitive and an attractive destination for exploration investment," he said.

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