Vanadium is hosted in the limestone sediments of what was once an ancient inland sea in central and northern Queensland.
Vanadium is hosted in the limestone sediments of what was once an ancient inland sea in central and northern Queensland.

State eyes ‘new age’ minerals for resource industry future

Queensland will lead the way in the exploration of ‘new age’ minerals such as scandium, cobalt and vanadium under a new blueprint for the resources industry being launched on Thursday.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the state government’s strategy was about working with industry, the regions and communities to set a shared vision for the future of the sector.

More growth, jobs and investment in the state’s coal, minerals and gas industries will be prioritised under the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan – a key pillar of the state’s economic recovery.

“Under this plan, there will be a key focus on removing barriers to growth and identifying immediate actions to help regional communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Stewart said.

“It will also focus on setting targets for industry growth and deliver actions to responsibly unlock resources into the future.

“Since 2015, $21bn has been invested in or committed to resources projects in Queensland creating 8000 jobs.

“There are great opportunities for the resources sector to grow in the future, particularly as the world looks to new age minerals like scandium, cobalt and vanadium for its growing needs and Queensland can be at the forefront of this.”

Mr Stewart said growth, clean energy, exploration, investment and adding more value to our resources through local industry were all on the table to shape the future of Queensland’s coal, minerals and gas industries.

The state government will soon engage with communities, mining and resources companies, workers, local councils and businesses reliant on the sector to drill down on the details.

The findings will form the basis of a draft plan that will be released later this year.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart. Picture: Tara Croser.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart. Picture: Tara Croser.

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Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the plan was a critical step to attract new investment and create new jobs for Queensland.

“This is an important step to begin consultation with all stakeholders including companies, communities and the workers who want to see the resources sector continue to thrive,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies have also thrown their support behind the plan.

“Natural gas’ role in helping lower emissions and supporting the growth of renewables will be vital over the years to come,” APPEA acting Queensland director Matt Paull said.

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