A new report from the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) has found that renewed confidence in the state’s resources sector is translating into an increase in exploration investment across all commodities, with the coal industry boasting the biggest surge.
The annual QEC Exploration scorecard found that Queensland coal exploration has increased for the first time since 2011-12, rising by 27 per cent.
Mineral expenditure is also up by 35 per cent, with petroleum exploration expenditure also increasing by 5 per cent over the 2017-18 period.
Commodity prices continued to climb this year, with solid gains across base and precious metals, petroleum and coal benchmark prices adding further support for Queensland exploration.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said the QEC Scorecard capped off a strong year for resources.
“Our resources sector is at the heart of the Queensland economy. It powers our state, it employs more than 316,000 people and it delivers almost $5 billion in royalty taxes that benefit every Queenslander,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“To ensure ongoing prosperity for all Queenslanders, and to invest in the infrastructure and services our cities and regions need, we must plan for the future now through new discoveries and new projects.”
QEC Chair Brad John PSM also said the positive sentiment showed Queensland’s resources sector was on a strong footing for the future.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see that this year’s survey showed the highest level of positive sentiment in the industry since the Scorecard began in 2011,” Mr John said.
“For the first time in the Scorecard’s history, explorers were positive about their access to investment capital and sentiment towards policy uncertainty also greatly improved,” he added.
Looking forward, surveys from the QEC highlight that 62 per cent of explorers expect to increase their expenditure or activity in Queensland over the coming 12 months, with 65 per cent of those in the drilling industry envisioning their activities to increase as well.
The full report can be found here.