Explorers are lining up to find the next big Queensland resources project, with record bids for government exploration grants.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said applications were being assessed for the latest round of exploration grants – more than double the previous response.

The Government brought forward the $2.8 million grant round as part of a multi-million dollar COVID-19 package to support the survival and revival of Queensland’s explorers.

“It’s clear that explorers were looking for stimulus to get through the COVID-19 storm,” he said.

“The Government’s exploration stimulus package is going to help keep the pipeline of future resources projects and jobs flowing as Queensland recovers.”

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show exploration investment for the year to the end of March was up more than 30 per cent on the previous year.

“However, we know that many enterprises have since put exploration on hold, and that junior explorers are having difficulty sourcing capital,” Dr Lynham said.

The grants offer explorers up to $200,000 to encourage innovative exploration across the state, including the North West Minerals Province, home to new economy minerals like silica, titanium, lithium and vanadium.

The government’s resources relief package also included:

a 12-month waiver of rent on exploration land due between 1 April and 1 September

a freeze on fees and charges until 1 July 2021

releasing almost 7000 square kilometres of land for gas and mineral exploration.

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