'The most exciting coal qualities in Australian history'
COAL exploration is steaming ahead in Central Queensland after Queensland company Vitrinite was awarded a tender near Clermont on the doorstep of the Galilee Basin.
The State Government had earmarked Vitrinite as the preferred tenderer and the miner now has the opportunity to apply for an exploration permit over 35sq km of land near Clermont.
Vitrinite's executive director Nicholas Williams said Vitrinite and Itochu, as partners in the Karin Joint Venture, were pleased the Queensland Government had extended exploration blocks contiguous with their Karin coking coal deposit.
"We have already discovered some of the most exciting coal qualities in Australian history and expect to continue this trend within this land package,” he said.
"We also want to reaffirm our proud support of the Clermont community and hope to move forward with local support as we strive to create new jobs and wealth for everyone who lives in Central Queensland.”
State Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham described the potential opportunities on offer to the miner having been granted the added scope of exploration.
"The area is adjacent to Vitrinite's existing Karin Basin project on the western flank of the Bowen Basin which gives them the added potential to join the next pipeline of metallurgical coal projects in Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.
"Vitrinite is a junior explorer and this shows there is room for small and big players in Queensland's vibrant $46 billion coal industry.
"Industry is showing a high level of confidence in Queensland's coal sector with $128 million invested in exploration in 2018 - a 42 per cent increase over the previous year.
"As well, there is record demand for our high quality metallurgical coal with an increase of more than 12 per cent over the past financial year.”
Dr Lynham said demand for metallurgical coal was forecast to increase further as the world transitioned to renewables.
"Junior explorers like Vitrinite play an important role in our industry by investing in exploration which helps sustain future supply and grow the 36,000 jobs in the coal sector,” he said.
The State Government has assured that Vitrinite must also meet environmental, native title, and other approvals, as well as land access requirements before on-ground exploration can start.