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Government support for coal exploration

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World Coal,

Companies undertaking coal exploration in Queensland are to receive the same government relief as other mineral exploration, the state Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham has announced.

“This concession will provide up to a 50% reduction over 2016 and 2017 in the expenditure a coal explorer is required to commit under their exploration permit,” Dr Lynham said.

“For example, say there is a coal explorer in the Bowen Basin who holds multiple exploration permits with a combined committed expenditure of AUS$2 million for its milestone period within 2016/17. The concession means than up to AUS$1 million of reduced expenditure they don’t have to spend to meet their exploration permit conditions.”

According to Dr Lynham the concession could save the coal exploration industry up to AUS$114 million.

“Exploration is vital to discovering the resources that will drive the resources industry and sustain economic growth for Queensland and our communities,” Dr Lynham continued.

“We taken onboard what the industry […] is telling us and that is explorers are under stress with low commodity prices and difficulty attracting investment capital. This concession alleviates fiscal pressure and gives coal explorers more flexibility to respond to investment conditions and spend their exploration dollars on the ground where it is needed most.”

The move has been welcomed by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC). “Just as the mineral explorers rely heavily upon investors having faith in the future of the industry, coal explorers are also facing a number of challenges,” said Simon Bennison, AMEC’s CEO. “Equity markets have been difficult, anti-development and divestment campaigns have crippled many companies and destroyed opportunities for jobs in regional areas.”

“If this program can preserve over AU$100 million in company funds to be used for exploration activities, as the government suggests, it will be a positive outcome and underlines the importance of a vibrant resources sector in Queensland,” concluded Bennison.

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