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The Queensland Government is encouraging the state’s resources industry to discover new minerals, including nickel, cobalt, copper and gold as part of its exploration funding in the 2020-21 state budget.

A $9 million investment will be injected into the resources sector to uncover new economy minerals, which are in high demand across the renewables and technology sectors,  Queensland Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said.

“Queenslanders elected the Palaszczuk Government so we could keep delivering our strong health response and our plan for economic recovery,” he said.

“An important part of that plan is continuing to invest in and support our world-class resource sector.”

The investment makes up part of the state’s $29 million injection into the resources sector, which is set to deliver deliver exploration grants, initiatives and COVID-19 support.

A further $11.7 million will be provided over the next three years to ramp up jobs that are related to new economy minerals.

“We will pump in another $11.7 million in the following three years as new economy minerals will deliver the jobs of the future,” Stewart said.

“We have already fast tracked $2 million in spending earlier this year to understand the potential for rare earth minerals.”

Stewart said $9.8 million had been waved in state rent for explorers, along with freezing exploration fees until July 1 2021. Meanwhile, $845,000 will be used to make exploration data available for free through the Queensland Government’s geological database next year.

“Everything learned from the exploration projects will be shared with the whole sector, helping to stimulate more mines, jobs and exports for Queensland,” he said.

“Through this budget, the Queensland Government is doing what it can to help keep business working and people employed.”