Bowen Basin mining tenders open to explorers
EXPLORERS are being invited to break new ground and stake their claim to more than 7000 square kilometres of land in the Bowen and Surat Basins.
A dozen petroleum and gas exploration areas have been made available in one of the world's richest metallurgical coal basins, Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said.
Two areas in the metallurgical coal rich Bowen Basin, near Glenden, have been targeted for exploration, Ms Gilbert said.
Located in "prime spots" near existing infrastructure, she said the exploration program was sowing the seed for the next generation of mines and mining jobs.
As the largest exporter of seaborne metallurgical coal in the world, Ms Gilbert said demand for Bowen Basin coal would continue into the future.
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"Metallurgical coal plays a critical role in the renewables supply chain as it is a vital component in the production of steel," she said.
The new exploration era would potentially get more gas to Austraian businesses with some gas areas stamped for domestic supply only.
The new prospecting era comes as total exploration investment increased by 27 per cent in two years, from 2017 to 2019, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
"For Queensland to remain a resources powerhouse and to meet the world's demand for resources exploration investment is critical," Dr Lynham said.
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Unlocking new lands to prospectors was essential for the resource industry, Dr Lynham said.
Over the past three exploration programs, a record 64,000sq km had been unlocked to resource explorers, he said.
Coal tenders for the 2020 program were scheduled to open in March, with petroleum tenders to follow in April.
Successful bidders will be awarded land by September.