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Re-commercialisation of abandoned mines

The Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan (QRIDP) sets out a 30-year vision for Queensland's resources industry: to be a resilient, responsible and sustainable resources industry that grows as it transforms.

The plan identifies 6 key focus areas where government and industry need to take action. One area is to grow and diversify the industry, with an action being to conduct a pilot program to investigate the re-commercialisation of abandoned mines.

Mine re-commercialisation is a growing area of interest. Technology used to recover minerals in closed mine sites is improving constantly, and investors are increasingly considering mining within a circular economy.

Queensland has around 120 complex abandoned mine sites that are managed by the department. Several of these sites have potential for re-commercialisation due to their tailings storages, stockpiles or remaining in-ground resources.

Re-commercialisation opportunity

We are conducting a pilot program releasing an abandoned mine site for re-commercialisation.

Restricted Area 442 (RA 442) – which includes the Wolfram Camp mine, Bamford Hill mine and surrounding exploration areas – was released as a call for tenders for an exploration permit for minerals (MLR2023-1) in January 2023, and closed on 20 April 2023. We are currently evaluating tender bids.

To help inform the tender release, we conducted a market sounding to gain industry feedback on the commercial viability for all or some of RA 442.

We also completed a comprehensive early release of high-quality information on the Wolfram Camp Mine and the surrounding RA 422 exploration area.

Further information

If you would like further information, email abandonedmines@resources.qld.gov.au

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive future updates on the re-commercialisation pilot and tender release.

Last reviewed: 03 June 2023