n a bid to relieve the increasing pressure on Queensland explorers, the Queensland State Government will allow a concession on exploration commitments over the next two years.

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham, announced the concession on 17 February, noting that the government:

‘Will support up to a 50 per cent reduction over two years in the expenditure that an explorer is required to commit under their mineral exploration permit.’

At this stage, the concession will apply only to exploration permits for minerals other than coal, but the government is considering a possible extension of the concession to coal exploration.

Dr Lynham noted that explorers would still be required to undertake ‘meaningful exploration’ and comply with relinquishment conditions. It therefore remains to be seen whether the concession will provide the ‘real relief’ promised by Dr Lynham. At the very least, the announcement signifies a commitment by the Queensland State Government to the longevity of the resources sector in the State, and was endorsed by the Queensland Resources Council as welcome breathing space for explorers in tough times.