Investment in minerals exploration in Queensland has increased by 36% over the past 12 months, according to a recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said this week’s Mineral and Petroleum Exploration Australian Bureau of Statistics Report showed that Queensland exploration expenditure continued to rise.

‘Investment in Queensland minerals exploration has increased by an impressive 36% to $266.6 million in 12 months, and 6% since December 2017,’ Dr Lynham said.

‘While the news has been good nationally (with a 25% increase), Queensland is outperforming the national average of exploration expenditure and in fact beating it by 11%.

‘Queensland’s boost in minerals exploration expenditure has come from strong growth in exploration for copper (up 65%), gold (up 22%) and coal (up 21%) over the 12 months to March 2018.

‘Our petroleum exploration expenditure also is up 40% on the previous 12 months, to $175 million.’

Dr Lynham said the Queensland Government was continuing to initiate a range of measures to promote exploration activities.

‘Our land release program, pre-competitive geoscience initiatives and financial incentives are important factors supporting the exploration in Queensland and these compliment the high commodity prices making our state ripe for investment,’ he said.

‘All evidence points to Queensland’s exploration windfall continuing to increase in coming quarters as global oil prices improve and gas producers continue to drill to ensure long-term gas for both domestic consumers and LNG exports.’

The mineral resources sector is identified as one of Queensland’s traditional export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.