The Queensland Government’s 2020 Queensland Exploration Program will open up more than 7000 square kilometres of land for coal, gas and petroleum exploration in the world-class Bowen and Surat Basins.
The release of land in the Bowen and Surat Basins includes two metallurgical coal areas and 12 petroleum and gas areas.
In the 2020 Queensland Exploration Program, two areas in the Bowen Basin have been earmarked for metallurgical coal. The first area, located 40 kilometres north-west of Moranbah measures 35 km2 and has 11 sub-blocks. It is prospective for metallurgical coal. The second area, located 60 km north-east of Moranbah measures 73 km2 and has 23 sub-blocks in five separate areas. The area is prospective for metallurgical and thermal coal.
In the 2020 program, the proposed tenders are scheduled to open for coal in March, with land awarded to successful bidders by September 2020.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said metallurgical coal plays a critical role in the renewables supply chain “as it is a vital component in the production of steel”.
Mines Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, stated that from September 2017 to September 2019 annual exploration investment in Queensland had risen by 27 per cent.
“For Queensland to remain a resources powerhouse and to meet the world’s demand for resources exploration investment is critical,” he said.
“To keep exploration moving we have released a record 64,000 square kilometres in our previous three exploration programs.”
“Like our previous land releases our 2020 Queensland Exploration Program gives explorers a clear line of sight so they can invest in confidence,” Dr Lynham commented.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, welcomed the news of the 2020 program and said that the release of land for exploration for all resources was essential in creating new jobs, growing exports and supporting regional Queensland.
“We have been very supportive of the release of areas for exploration for all resources and the development of gas to service the domestic market. A proactive exploration program secures tomorrow’s resource industry while supporting jobs, many of which will be in regional Queensland,” he said.
Further information about the 2020 Queensland Exploration Program can be found here.