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A new Queensland funding program to help extract critical minerals and reprocessing opportunities in mine waste is now open.

The Queensland Government’s  Collaborative Development Program offers up to $5 million in funding for companies seeking to assess and find ways to extract value from residual materials left behind after the primary phases of mining and mineral processing.

Some of Queensland’s mine tailings harbour significant mineral resources like cobalt, presenting an opportunity for businesses to explore for critical minerals in previously overlooked areas.

“Queensland has significant mine waste which can potentially hold substantial mineral resources,” Queensland Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart said.

“Our first step is assessing what’s out there and this funding allows businesses to explore areas that were once known for their mineral production to uncover potential critical minerals.

The Collaborative Development Program is part of the Queensland Critical Minerals Strategy, a $245 million investment to transform the state, national and global economy through the responsible use of critical minerals.

“We see opportunities for the waste of our mines to become the key ingredients in future renewable energy technologies,” Stewart said.

“As industries pivot towards a more sustainable future, the recovery of critical minerals from mine waste presents a dual opportunity – to reduce our carbon footprint while nurturing a circular economy model.

“This initiative encourages greater resource efficiency by facilitating the recycling of tailings and mine waste, ensuring that valuable minerals already extracted are not overlooked.”

The program will run as a single round and remain open until the end of June 2027, or until funds are exhausted.