Mining investment could uncover a world of potential
Exploration of a potential new mining corridor could bring lucrative opportunities to northwest Queensland.
The promising corridor will be the focus of the Federal Government's $125 million expansion of the Exploring for the Future program and could open up new gold, diamond, base metals and critical mineral opportunities.
The land, which runs from the Gulf of Carpentaria, through Mount Isa, down the borders of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, has been identified as key by Geoscience Australia.
The more than 2000km corridor is one of two to be explored with a high potential for new discoveries.
Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said the two corridors would support the economy recovering following the coronavirus pandemic.
"We know that one way to speed up the discoveries that drive jobs and economic growth is by providing new pre-competitive data and information that supports and de-risks resource investment," Mr Pitt said.
Mr Pitt said the challenge was to narrow down where the mineral, energy and groundwater was.
Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said the investment would have flow-on benefits for Townsville.
"I've always backed the resource sector because it's such a critical industry for creating jobs and driving our North Queensland economy," he said.
"The sector contributed $1.3 billion to the Herbert economy in 2018-19 and supported nearly 8000 full-time jobs so anything that helps grow that even further is welcome."
North Queensland-based Senator Susan McDonald said it was good timing for the region.
"There is no doubt that resources will play a vital role in helping Australia balance the books after COVID-19, so it's imperative that we find and extract more valuable minerals and gas to help our own industries and earn more royalties," Ms McDonald said.
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive officer Warren Pearce said the exploratory program had identified potential in the north in the last four years.
"This program will bring long-term benefits to Australia and will help to attract local and international investment to Australia helping our industry to bounce back quicker post-COVID-19, and support the economic recovery of the country," Mr Pearce said.
Originally published as Mining investment could uncover a world of potential