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Seismic trucks conducting a geophysical survey in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province

The hunt for “new economy minerals” continues for mining exploration companies in North Queensland as they compete for state government funding.

The Queensland Government has so far granted close to a million dollars to seven projects to explore for minerals around Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek and Georgetown.

The package, which was announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in November last year, aims to provide explorers $3.5 million in industry grants over five years for new and innovative exploration activities.

Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said a record number of exploration companies had taken up the state government’s call to hunt for the minerals needed for advanced electronics and renewable technologies.

“From an unprecedented 61 bids, seven projects have been awarded $965,000 to help open up the untapped minerals bounty around Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, and Georgetown,” he said.

“Exploration is the essential first step for any mining endeavour, and our investment has encouraged industry to search for cobalt and rare earth minerals needed for wind turbines, generators and batteries.”

Lynham said the data collected from the projects would be made available free from January 2021 via the government’s geological database, to encourage further exploration and mining investment in Queensland.

“Everything learned will be shared with the whole industry, which could lead to further exploration and more mineral mines, jobs and exports for Queensland,” Lynham said.

“New economy minerals” is an umbrella term for a range of metals and mineral elements used in many emerging technologies including electric vehicles, renewable energy products, low-emission power sources, consumer devices, and products for the medical, defence and scientific research sectors.

Chinova Resources has been awarded $200,000 to re-analyse existing soil samples to investigate if there are any new economy minerals south of Cloncurry.

Mulga Minerals subsidiary of Hammer Metals have been awarded $193,000 to drill an area between Mount Isa and Cloncurry to obtain samples of rocks expected to contain new economy minerals.

VECCO Industrial has been awarded $160,000 to re-analyse drill core samples to investigate if there are any new economy minerals north of Julia Creek.

Transition Resources has been awarded $112,000 to re-analyse existing soil and drill samples to help determine the distribution, quantity and quality of new economy minerals in the Cloncurry area.

SMA Mining has been awarded $98,000 to drill to confirm if there is enough lithium mineralisation in the Georgetown District to suggest a mine could be economically viable.

Moho Resources has been awarded $112,000 to test groundwater from existing water bores and drill holes for indicators of New Economy Minerals south of Croydon.

Mt Dockerell Mining subsidiary of Hammer Metals has been awarded $90,000 to conduct an electromagnetic survey to help define the extent of new economy mineral occurrence in the region south east of Mount Isa.