Grow and diversify the industry

Diversifying Queensland’s resources industry is essential to encourage sustainable, long-term economic growth. Growing Queensland’s critical minerals industry and seizing the opportunities of a decarbonising global economy are both central to this.

What we want to achieve by 2050

What we will do to achieve these goals

The Queensland Government and resources industry must work in partnership to grow and diversify the resources industry. We will attract investment, and extend and strengthen supply chains, to create a new wave of industrialisation in Queensland regions based on critical minerals mining, processing and manufacturing.

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

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2021–24

The Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) supports Queensland’s exploration companies to grow and make discoveries that will develop into future mines for the benefit of the state.

The Department of Resources’ Geological Survey of Queensland manages the initiative. Data from the CEI rounds is made publicly available after the confidentiality period expires.

Applications for round 6 of the CEI opened in November 2021, with funding secured until 2024.

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2022

Queensland has approximately 120 complex abandoned mine sites. Several sites have re-commercialisation potential due to their tailings storages, stockpiles or remaining in-ground resources. This is a growing area of interest, as investors are increasingly considering mining within a circular economy, and technology used to recover minerals in these sites is improving constantly.

The government will conduct a pilot program to release a high-priority abandoned mine site with re-commercialisation potential through market sounding, followed by a competitive tender process.

Learnings from this pilot will help inform future releases.

Lead: Trade and Investment Queensland

When: Ongoing

The resources industry will need specialist promotion, engagement and advocacy to capitalise effectively on shifts in both the global economy and the industry.

Multiple strategies could be used to promote and advocate our critical minerals to international markets, particularly the Indo-Pacific, Europe and North America.

The Queensland Government will investigate whole-of-government promotion strategies to take full advantage of shifts in the global economy and the local resources industry.

Lead: Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning; Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water; Department of Energy and Public Works; Department of Resources

When: 2022–23

Queensland has an opportunity to extend the local supply chain for critical minerals, particularly the development of battery chemicals and possibly battery manufacturing.

This could increase economic development and employment in the regions.

While Queensland’s battery supply chain is not yet fully established, research is underway nationally to investigate developing commercial-scale, domestically built batteries.

To capitalise on this opportunity, we will develop a Battery Industry Strategy to seize the opportunities that this supply chain offers and integrate Queensland’s efforts with work being done nationally.

Lead: Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water

When: 2016-26

Since the 2016 release of the Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, the government has supported Queensland manufacturers to transform the industry by adopting industry 4.0 technologies, systems, practices and processes.

Queensland’s abundance of critical minerals provides significant opportunities for Queensland’s manufacturing sector to value-add locally.

We will continue to implement our Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap and Action Plan, which supports additional value-adding to Queensland’s resources.

Lead: Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water

When: 2021-22

Regional manufacturing hubs in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay and the Gold Coast support the growth of regional manufacturers.

The hub program will create more than 3350 jobs and an estimated $153 million of economic growth by mid-2022.

The Manufacturing Hubs Grants Program provides $13.5 million of funding to eligible businesses.

This grants program will remain open to eligible applicants until June 2022 or once the program is fully subscribed.

Lead: Department of Resources; Queensland Treasury

When: 2022

Resource authority holders pay rent for the exclusive right to explore, develop or produce the state’s non-renewable resources.

To ensure rent is not a barrier to greenfield critical minerals projects and enable the industry to redirect funds towards these projects, the government will review rent for critical minerals projects.

We will consider rent deferrals during development phases and other opportunities for assistance. Any deferred rent would need to be paid in full.

Lead: Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning; Queensland Treasury

When: Ongoing

Government has long supported the development of common user infrastructure such as roads, rail, ports and electricity to stimulate investment and assist major resource developments to proceed.

While traditional common user infrastructure will remain important, very different infrastructure will be needed to extract and process critical minerals.

We will investigate the feasibility and financial sustainability of common user infrastructure opportunities in partnership with industry.

Where government support for this infrastructure is required to help de-risk development, improve project viability and attract additional investment, it must support more jobs in regional Queensland and provide sustainable public benefits.

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2021

Gas pipelines are essential common user infrastructure that brings gas to the domestic and international markets.

The Queensland and Australian governments have jointly contributed $10 million for a Bowen Basin pipeline study.

This study will investigate potential pipeline pathways and ways to optimise the Bowen Basin gas resources. It will also investigate opportunities to use fugitive emissions from coal mines to help Queensland transition to a low-carbon economy.

The study will occur in multiple phases, the first being a concept study to be completed by the end of 2021.

Lead: Department of Resources

When: 2022–23

Hydrogen and other gases, such as biogas and biomethane, are clean energy resources that will be vital for Queensland’s and the world’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

In line with the agreement of Australia’s energy ministers, the Queensland Government will review the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 to bring biomethane, hydrogen blends and other renewable methane gas blends under the Act, and provide an efficient and transparent regulatory framework for these resources.

Lead: Department of Resources

When: Ongoing

Carbon capture and storage technology and innovation enable greenhouse gas emissions to be stored geologically.

This presents significant opportunities for emissions-intensive industries like power generation and resources to decarbonise their operations.

The Queensland Government will include areas for carbon storage feasibility exploration (under the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009) in the Queensland Exploration Program.

This will involve a competitive tender process for relevant permits. Government will not issue permits until robust environmental impact assessments have been completed.

Lead: Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

When: 2017–27

Queensland has a world-leading METS sector, which comprises more than 800 METS companies – more than any other Australian state.

In 2017, the Queensland Government launched the Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

The government will provide $1.4 million in funding over 4 years to 2024–25 to support the continued growth of the METS sector. This funding will ensure the roadmap continues to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities.

Lead: Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport

When: Ongoing

After 6 years of delivering Advance Queensland, the Queensland Government is refreshing its approach to innovation in the context of rapidly advancing technologies and ways of doing business.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups supported in the early stages of Advance Queensland are now scaling up, with many attracting major investment, creating high value jobs and entering global markets. Queensland innovators are helping to reimagine sectors like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and logistics.

The Queensland Government has appointed its fourth Chief Entrepreneur, established a new Innovation Advisory Council, and is engaging with industry to transform our traditional industries through innovations such as artificial intelligence, immersive technologies, machine learning, and advanced robotics.

Last reviewed 23 February 2024

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