News

Queensland open for business – new coal exploration permits in the Bowen Basin

23.03.2014

Christopher Hewitt, Senior Associate

When the new federal government was elected in September, the new Prime Minster Tony Abbot declared that Australia was once again open for business and for new investment. In the wake of this announcement, the Queensland Government has announced new coal investment and exploration opportunities in the coal-rich Bowen Basin.

The Queensland Government has released seven new areas in Queensland for tender for new exploration permits for coal (“EPCs”). The seven areas are located in the northern Bowen Basin on the eastern coast of Queensland. The map below identifies the seven areas, which together cover a total area of 407 sub-blocks or approximately 1294 km2.

The Queensland Government has stated:

The Bowen Basin is the most important coal-bearing province in Queensland in terms of resources, coal types and current coal production.

There will be a competitive tender process for parties interested in obtaining an EPC in one of the seven areas.

The tender process will not include a cash bidding component. Tenderers will be evaluated on their work program, technical and financial capability and demonstrated commitment to the work program. Tenders close at 2:30pm on 5 March 2014.

Native title processes will not be required for three of the areas. The other four areas will require a native title process to be undertaken before the grant of an EPC.

At the launch of the tender process, the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines stated:

The Queensland Government is supportive of junior explorers and is providing opportunities through this work program based tender process. Tenderers of this type support the next wave of exploration discovery so Queensland can continue to thrive. It will ensure that investment practices in exploration activities promote the long-term prosperity of Queensland’s resource industry.

The tendering process demands strict compliance with complex legal and commercial requirements and regulations. Moulis Legal has the experience and understanding to provide expert advice and assistance to coal explorers and investors interested in participating in this tender.

We invite interested parties to contact us for a copy of the full tender documentation, and to discuss this opportunity further.

Map of the seven coal land release areas in the Bowen Basin, Queensland

map

Source: Queensland Government 2013

For more information, please contact Christopher Hewitt or Gerowyn Schuster in our Brisbane office on +61 7 3010 9265 or email christopher.hewitt@moulislegal.com

This memo presents an overview and commentary of the subject matter. It is not provided in the context of a solicitor-client relationship and no duty of care is assumed or accepted. It does not constitute legal advice.