Strengthen our ESG credentials and protect the environment

The resources industry must prepare for and seize the opportunities that increasingly ESG-conscious investors, customers and global jurisdictions will offer. A central element of this must be through taking decisive action to decarbonise operations in line with the Queensland Government’s commitments to a zero net emissions future.

What we want to achieve by 2050

What we will do to achieve these goals

The resources industry and government will work to strengthen our ESG credentials and protect the environment.

Have your say on the proposed actions in the draft Queensland resources industry development plan.

Strengthening our ESG credentials

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2022

To determine the appropriate size of government response to this international trend, the Queensland Government will establish an ESG working group.

The group will comprise representatives from industry, government, investors, the community and academia.

The working group will make recommendations to government on their role in supporting ESG for the resources industry.

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2022–23

Most – if not all – of Queensland’s large resources companies already report against their preferred ESG protocol, such as the:

  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
  • United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

However, junior and mid-level explorers and miners may be unsure how to get ESG-ready for their markets.

The Queensland Government will investigate ways to help industry build the capability of junior and mid-level explorers and miners to meet increasing ESG requirements.

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2022-23

As the global shift to a decarbonised economy gains momentum, Queensland developers can differentiate their new economy minerals by proving their ESG credentials through traceability and provenance technology, such as blockchain.

Mineral traceability is a growing research and development industry locally, nationally and internationally.

The Queensland Government will investigate what research and development support is needed to help resources companies demonstrate the provenance of their minerals and metals. This includes support for traceability technology.

Protecting our environment

Lead: Department of Environment and Science; Department of Resources; Queensland Treasury

When: Ongoing

The Queensland Government will continue to embed the rehabilitation and financial assurance reforms.

One of the final actions in the financial assurance and mine rehabilitation program relates to the Queensland Government’s residual risk reforms, which commenced on 20 August 2020. These reforms give industry more clarity and certainty about the surrender of resources sites.

The government has been doing consultation to finalise the Residual Risk Assessment Guideline and its associated calculator. The work on the guideline and calculator is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Lead: Department of Environment and Science

When: 2022–23

The Queensland Government expects the resources industry to develop and implement plans that provide a pathway to net zero emissions operations. The government will consider:

  • establishing an operational policy that requires applicants to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for new and amended environmental authorities, as well as a reporting and monitoring framework to demonstrate progress
  • updating the generic terms of reference for environmental impact statements to require applicants to prepare a greenhouse gas abatement plan to demonstrate how they can move towards net zero emissions
  • establishing model conditions that require authority holders to implement greenhouse gas abatement plans, and report on progress regularly and publicly
  • providing transition options for existing resources environmental authorities.

Lead: Department of Environment and Science; Department of Resources

When: 2022–23

While many major resources companies have already adopted net zero emissions targets and developed plans to decarbonise their operations, small and mid-level operators probably need more support.

The Queensland Government will investigate innovative options to support industry in building the capability of junior and mid-level resources companies to decarbonise operations.

The government will engage closely with industry and consider what it needs in terms of additional training and capacity building around decarbonisation options, technology and reporting.

Lead: Department of Environment and Science

When: 2022-23

The Queensland Government is investigating and consulting on the establishment of an independent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to:

  • protect Queensland’s environment
  • provide more certainty for investment
  • support Queensland’s economic recovery.

The Department of Environment and Science has started investigating the feasibility of an independent EPA. This includes public consultation, which will give everyone an opportunity to have their say about environmental protection in Queensland.

Lead: Department of Environment and Science

When: 2022-23

The Queensland Government will establish a stakeholder advisory group to consult on achieving an appropriate balance of environmental and economic considerations in Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre Basin.

The government will release a consultation regulatory impact statement on these reforms in 2022.

The final reforms will provide regulatory certainty for activities in the Basin, including resource activities, by clarifying and simplifying the:

  • required approvals
  • allowable activities
  • restrictions on activities from a planning perspective.

Last reviewed 25 May 2022

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Townsville QLD 4810

PO Box 1752, Townsville QLD 4810
Phone: (07) 4447 9230

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PO Box 3679, Red Hill QLD 4701
Phone: (07) 4936 0169 Fax: (07) 4936 0375

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Phone: 07 3199 8118

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PO Box 156, Mareeba QLD 4880
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Georgetown QLD 4871

PO Box 28, Georgetown QLD 4871
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For enquiries on Fossicking in Queensland, please contact a Mines Assessment Hub.

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