More than 270 square kilometres of central Queensland, in one of the world’s leading coal production regions, is open for bids from explorers.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham has announced tenders for four blocks in the Bowen Basin – the first release of Queensland coal country in four years.
“Resource developments which create jobs and attract economic investment to our regional communities must start with exploration,” he said.
“This land release is a significant opportunity for explorers to gain access to land with the potential for thermal and metallurgical coal in a word-leading production region.”
Since 2013, coal exploration licences have only been available in Queensland via competitive tender. The only tender under this process saw five permitsawarded in the northern Bowen Basin in 2014.
The latest land release was foreshadowed in Queensland’s first Annual Exploration Program, released last year.
Dr Lynham said the exploration program concept delivered long-term planning certainty for explorers and early advice to the local traditional owners, landholders and councils.
“Queensland is the world’s largest global exporter of metallurgical coal, shipping more than 162 million tonnes last year worth an estimated $17 billion, with continued high demand for our thermal coal.
The land on offer is surrounded by existing coal mines, from Middlemount in the north to Cook and Blackwater to the south.
The area is also serviced by Aurizon’s electrified Goonyella and Blackwater coal rail networks, providing access to the coal export terminals of Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay to the north and the Port of Gladstone to the south.
“Queensland’s high standards of safety of environmental management, and a history of sustainable and innovative exploration and production practices, offer a safe, secure and attractive location for investment,” Dr Lynham said.
Preferred tenderers must meet environmental, native title and land access requirements before commencing on-ground exploration activity.
Tenders close on Thursday, 24 August 2017. For more information visit dnrm.qld.gov.au/resources-tenders