Qld cash for minerals exploration and clean METS

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The Queensland government has unveiled the recipients of $4.6 million in critical mineral discovery grants and is offering another $2.67 million for new ways to advanced mining technologies.

The funding announced on Friday comes from the latest Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) round, which has backed 18 projects with up to $300,000 each, with most of the recipients focused on copper deposits.

The program’s exploration data will also be made public to encourage more critical mineral discoveries in Queensland.

Queensland based Alumtex extracts critical minerals from bauxite residue. Credit: Alumtek

Running since 2017, the state’s CEI initative’s eighth round is supporting 16 companies and 18 discovery projects, some of which will become new critical mineral mines. Around three quarters of the projects are involved in the discovery of new copper deposits.

“We want Queensland to mine, process, and manufacture those new economy minerals to create jobs and produce royalties that will fund Queensland schools, hospitals and roads,” the state’s Resources and Critical Minerals minister Scott Stewart said in a statement.

“You can’t have a renewable energy without a resources sector, and you can’t have a healthy resources sector without exploration.”

The Miles government also announced on Friday that it is offering grants totalling $2.67 million for businesses and research bodies to advance mining equipment, technology and services (METS), a sector that contributes around $7 billion to Queensland revenue.

The METS Collaborative Project Fund is offering grants between $50,000 and $300,000 and the government said projects that address environmental issues, emissions management, renewable energy and safety will be prioritised.

Previous grants from the fund have supported projects like machine learning techniques to predict the mineral content of ore bodies and the installation of sensors on mine site conveyor belts.

“We aim to champion initiatives that focus on global industry challenges such as automation, mine rehabilitation, reducing emissions across the resources supply chain, and collaborating with resource companies to pilot groundbreaking technologies,” minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace said.

Applications for the METS Collaborative Project Fund opened this week and will close on May 31.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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