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Critical minerals in Queensland

As Australia’s second-largest state, Queensland covers an area of more than 1.7 million square kilometres, making it a rich source of critical mineral deposits.

Many high-demand ‘new economy’ minerals – those needed to make emerging technologies like electric vehicles, renewable energy products, consumer devices and products for the medical, defence and scientific research sectors – are found in Queensland’s North West and North East mineral provinces. These include:

  • bauxite
  • cadmium
  • copper
  • gold
  • magnesite
  • nickel
  • selenium
  • tantalum
  • tungsten
  • zinc
  • zirconium.

Recognising the importance of critical minerals in helping the world transition to renewable energy technologies via direct capture and storage of solar, wind and other renewable energies and meet the global demand for advanced technologies, the Queensland State Government has developed a strategic plan to guide research and development priorities for minerals in Queensland, while also identifying investment opportunities in the state’s North West and North East minerals provinces.

There are several centres of excellence and innovation hubs dedicated to the enhancement of the critical minerals sector in Queensland, including:

Incentives, grants and support

Queensland offers several incentives and opportunities to encourage exploration in the state’s frontier areas, to support innovative exploration techniques such as machine learning, and to promote the discovery and development of ‘new economy’ minerals.

The new Industry Partnership Program will invest A$350 million over four years to continue to grow and create jobs across a number of priority industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, resource recovery and METS. This is in addition to a range of support and services available to support small businesses, and assist employers to train and upskill their employees.

You may also be able to access a variety of state government resources to support trade and investment, including growth stage capital through the Backing Queensland Business Investment Fund as well as the Investment in Queensland Program.

Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) is the Queensland State Government’s dedicated global business agency to help international investors.

Case study

The A$470 million Saint Elmo vanadium mine project in Queensland’s North West region is at an advanced stage of approval and readiness to move to development. Developed by Queensland-based exploration and mining company Multicom, the mine will produce vanadium pentoxide and alternative vanadium-based products for use in high-strength steel production and renewable energy technologies, particularly grid-scale batteries.