The minerals exploration sector underpins the sustainability and growth of the mining industry which is considered by many to be the ‘engine room’ of the Australian economy. Queensland is rich in natural resources of metallic and non-metallic minerals and is recognised globally as a leading destination for mining and resources investment. Its   diverse geology and massive resource potential place it in the world’s top five regions for the production of lead, bauxite, zinc and sliver.  

The minerals industry makes a significant contribution to the Queensland economy.  Queensland earns royalties from the extraction of coal, base and precious metals, bauxite, petroleum and gas, mineral sands and other minerals. Revenue from coal, base and precious metals and other minerals is forecast to grow 29.0% and exceed $4 billion in 2018-19.  The industry directly employs over 30,000 people and is directly and indirectly responsible for over 370,000 jobs or more than 11% of Queensland’s total employment. 

The resource sector also provides a number of other economic and social dividends in remote regional and community areas. including training and employment opportunities, indigenous education, training and partnership programs. The industry also provides valuable financial and other support to a number of charitable, welfare, community and sporting organisations and is a major driver of rural, regional and community development. 

Representing explorers and miners AMEC works with the Queensland Government to drive exploration, improve international competitiveness, create jobs and attract mining and mineral exploration investment to the State. 

AMEC’s work in Queensland

Department of Environment and Science (DES) Forum 
AMEC members received the latest updates on the new financial provisioning scheme and associated upcoming rehabilitation reforms at a very successful member forum held in Brisbane in late March. Department officers from DES and Treasury provided presentations on the transition to and implementation of the new scheme and were also available to answer questions from members on various issues such as Environmentally Sensitive Area mapping and Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plans (PRCP). Further forums are being planned as a follow up through 2019. 

Financial Provisioning Scheme 
The Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Act 2018 was passed in November 2018 and allowed for the previous financial assurance requirements to be replaced by the new Financial Provisioning Scheme. Included in the new Act were amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 requiring Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plans for mines. The Scheme is now scheduled to commence in April 2019 and existing financial assurance requirements and policies will remain in effect until commencement of the new scheme. 

Rehabilitation Reforms 
AMEC is continuing to work with the responsible Departments as they progress further rehabilitation reforms including managing residual risks, and abandoned mines and associated risks, with the environmental reforms to commence later in 2019. Eventually the rehabilitation of abandoned mines will be funded through grants provided from the Scheme’s Financial Provisioning Fund. As part of the changes the Department of Environment and Science (DES) has also commenced consultation with AMEC on the amendments to the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 to support the new reforms. 

Following the introduction of the Natural Resources and Other Legislation (NROLA)  Bill to Parliament in AMEC members have been asked to provide feedback on the Bill and the proposed changes to exploration tenure management and reporting. Following consideration by the Parliamentary Committee, the Bill is expected to be debated in second half of 2019 with the subsequent enactment then delayed by 12 months to allow stakeholders further time to assess the impacts of its implementation. 

Pre-Budget submission 
Prior to the tabling or the next Queensland State Budget in June, AMEC has released its Pre-Budget submission and provided copies to the Queensland Treasurer and the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. In the submission AMEC has provided 13 recommendations to increase mineral exploration activity and reduce the cost of doing business in the State. They were collated into eight key focus areas including a more competitive Gold Royalty regime, expanding collaborative exploration, streamlined and efficient approvals processes, reducing the costs of doing business, and no cost recovery or fee increases.

Queensland Pre-budget Submission

Queensland Advisory Committees
The Queensland Advisory Committee provides advice to the AMEC Council and Executive and develops policy on state specific issues related to mining and exploration, and other issues that may impact on the Association’s membership. Our Advisory Committee meets quarterly and is chaired by Steve Jukes.

Events in state
AMEC runs a wide range of events in Queensland each year for the benefit the industry and our members. Events include seminars, investor briefings and exclusive member-only events such as sundowners, boardroom lunches, seminars, and information briefings. To find out more about events in state, please see our events page.

Membership in Queensland
AMEC membership is open to all companies working in and for the mineral exploration and mining industry. Full membership is for mineral explorers, emerging producers and miners, with Associate membership open to companies who service the mining and mineral exploration industry. Whether your organisation provides legal services, undertakes drilling, financial advice, or other services that support our industry, you can be an AMEC associate member. 

To learn more about our work and the benefits of membership in Queensland, please contact the Queensland  Manager Les Cox , or AMEC Membership and Business Development Manager Luke Sizer.