Blueprint for North West Minerals Province

A State Government blueprint to drive the next wave of resource development and new industry in Queensland’s North-West Minerals Province has been released aimed at stimulating exploration investment.

Teck AustraliaThe blueprint has been released following this weeks’ announcement that one of the world’s biggest zinc players will seek out new prospects after winning exploration rights to land near Cloncurry.

The 102km2 project near Cloncurry had gone to Teck Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teck, one of the world’s biggest producers of base metals as well as specialty metals such as germanium, indium and cadmium.

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham says the blueprint represents the combined efforts of government, industry and business stakeholders from across North West Queensland to facilitate a strong and prosperous future for this important region.

The more than $30 million worth of measures to support the resources sector include:

• large-scale geological surveys to identify new commercial deposits
• a four-year exploration program to support exploration in greenfield and high-risk areas
• more international promotion to investors including an annual investor forum in Townsville
• red-tape reduction for explorers, including a hands-on team to help smaller miners get their projects over the investment line.

The blueprint implementation team would be set up in Mount Isa to coordinate effort, including running a North-West Futures Forum later this year to bring experts and locals together to implement the blueprint.

Meanwhile, Teck Australia will start exploration work for zinc, lead and silver as soon as it is granted its exploration authority.

The company must secure environmental approvals and complete native title negotiations with traditional owners before an exploration authority is granted.