Minister announces 50% mineral exploration concession
QUEENSLAND'S mineral explorers are to gain a two-year expenditure reduction as they struggle through the global mining downturn.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the 50% concession would provide much needed financial relief to explorers and ensure meaningful exploration did not stall in Queensland.
"We will support up to a 50% reduction over two years in the expenditure that an explorer is required to commit under their mineral exploration permit," he said.
"For example, say there is a base metal explorer in the North West Minerals Province that holds multiple mineral exploration permits with a combined committed exploration expenditure of $2 million for the two years.
"The concession means up to $1 million they don't have to spend to meet their exploration permit conditions."
Dr Lynham said the concession would apply to companies exploring for all minerals other than coal and the government was investigating extending the concession to the coal exploration sector.
"We've listened to industry - the Queensland Exploration Council, the Queensland Resources Council and the Association of Mining & Exploration Companies - and they tell us that it's difficult to attract investment capital in this tough global mining climate," he said.
"Our response is practical assistance that removes some cost pressures.
"Mineral explorers will have greater flexibility to spend their exploration dollars on the ground where it is needed most.
"This adds to our existing initiatives to support a competitive resources sector, including:
- Developing a Queensland Gas Supply and Demand Action Plan to encourage further exploration of the State's highly prospective petroleum and gas resources
- Meeting election our commitment to a royalties freeze.
- Having the lowest payroll tax rate in the country
- Investing heavily in innovation.
Dr Lynham said explorers would still be expected to undertake meaningful exploration to advance the geological knowledge or prospectivity of their tenure and meet their other obligations, including environmental obligations, annual rents and relinquishing sub-blocks.