Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane . Picture: John Gass
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane . Picture: John Gass

Qld explorers given $100m boost to find next big discovery

The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed an announcement of a $100m, four-year renewal of its Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the federal government's move would help Queensland explorers bring new technology like remote sensing, machine learning and bio-indicators to the field.

"The program will give eligible exploration companies access to tax incentives to attract new investors into the sector and potentially benefit 500-plus mineral exploration companies currently operating across Queensland," Mr Macfarlane said.

He said about 70 per cent of exploration companies in Queensland have a market capitalisation value of less than $500m, meaning they're eligible to apply for tax incentives under the renewed JMEI program.

"Exploration is like the research and development of the minerals industry - it's how we uncover new geological knowledge - so it's great to see the federal government recognise the importance of exploration by renewing this program for another four years," he said.

"The renewed funding will place Queensland mineral explorers in a stronger position to find that next big discovery.

"The last major minerals discovery in Queensland was almost 30 years ago, when Glencore's Ernest Henry copper mine was discovered near Cloncurry in 1993, so we're well overdue."

Mr Macfarlane said the announcement of new federal funding, coupled with the Queensland government's Collaborative Exploration Initiative, provided explorers with much-needed financial incentives to keep exploring and developing potential new pipelines of opportunity for Queensland.

He congratulated the national peak body for exploration AMEC for the leading role it had played in securing additional exploration funding.

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