The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and its exploration promotion arm, the Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) supports and encourages the record number of exploration companies that have opted-in for government grants as part of a multi-million dollar COVID-19 explorer support package.
QEC Chair Kim Wainwright said the explorer member organisation was pleased to see more than double the amount of applications than the previous grant round received.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, our members forecasted a minimum 25 percent decline in expenditure over the next quarter,” Ms Wainwright said.
“To now see the government has received a record number of applications is proof that our explorers are more than enthusiastic to get back to work and progress those projects which otherwise would have been kept on hold.
Ms Wainwright said exploration investment data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed a strong start to this year, with end-of March quarter figures stating a 20 percent increase in mineral exploration since the previous quarter.
“The ABS data from the March quarter has shown an astounding 60 percent increase in Queensland mineral exploration year-on-year,” Ms Wainwright said.
“Our explorers were on the right track for a year of growth in 2020, but Coronavirus has thrown a curve ball to the exploration industry.
“I wish the many companies that have applied for grants from our government the best of luck in receiving the support they need to get back on track.”
Exploration relief measures announced In May 2020 by Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy included:
- Grant funds of $2.8 million for innovative exploration in the North West Minerals Province;
- a 12-month waiver of rent on exploration land due between 1 April and 30 September;
- a freeze on fees and charges until 1 July 2021;
- releasing almost 7000 square kilometres of land for gas and mineral exploration later this month.
To view the Queensland Government media statement, click here.
To find out more about the relief package, click here.