Queensland resources industry development plan

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The draft Queensland resources industry development plan provides a vision for the state’s resources industry over the next 30 years.

It outlines global challenges and changes facing the industry, opportunities for industry growth and diversification, industry’s lead role in Queensland’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the collaboration and commitments required by government and industry to achieve this vision.

The draft plan sets out key focus areas and actions that, once achieved, will give Queensland a resilient, responsible and sustainable resources industry that grows as it transforms.

Read the draft Queensland resources industry development plan.



Have your say

Consultation on the draft plan closed on 11 February 2022.

Your feedback will be used with other engagement results, research and analysis to create the final Queensland resources industry development plan. This is due to be released by mid-2022.


The draft Queensland resources industry development plan provides a vision for the state’s resources industry over the next 30 years.

It outlines global challenges and changes facing the industry, opportunities for industry growth and diversification, industry’s lead role in Queensland’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the collaboration and commitments required by government and industry to achieve this vision.

The draft plan sets out key focus areas and actions that, once achieved, will give Queensland a resilient, responsible and sustainable resources industry that grows as it transforms.

Read the draft Queensland resources industry development plan.



Have your say

Consultation on the draft plan closed on 11 February 2022.

Your feedback will be used with other engagement results, research and analysis to create the final Queensland resources industry development plan. This is due to be released by mid-2022.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded, but you can read the responses to questions that were received.

We are considering options to find a more effective system for small-scale mining. You can read more about the proposed changes and have your say.

The Q&A has now closed. You can read all questions and responses below.

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    Has any work been undertaken by the Gov't, either through professional services or simply by seeking the opinions of industry experts, to better understand the ever changing global market for our resource and the contribution Small-Scale Miners have had in developing that market? - Other than the revenue reporting as collated by the Synergies Report and the limited consultation associated with that study. Perhaps we need to change the conversation around the lack of revenue not warranting the administrative burden and cost to the government - and direct the question to the Government as to how much you value the standing and reputation of Ethically/Responsibly Sourced sapphires from our region? Our reputation is quite often regarded as the gold standard when academics and NGO's abroad address issues surrounding Small-Scale Mining, particularly in Africa and Madagascar. Thanks.

    Mitch Brown asked 4 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback. We recognise that Queensland has a long history of small scale mining activity and we want to ensure there are pathways for small scale mining operations to continue. 

    The purpose of the draft QRIDP is to seek views in relation to the impacts and benefits associated with the proposed removal of mining claims from the Mineral Resources Act 1989. If you have any information that will assist in understanding the impacts on global markets, please provide a submission on the draft QRIDP by 11 February 2022.

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    Was Caprciorn Enterprise, our QLD Gov't affiliated Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO), consulted on the potential impacts of the proposal to remove Mining Claims from the Act? What work was conducted, other than the Synergies report and consultation on the broader context of the QRIDP, that sought to better understand the link between our tourism product and Small-Scale Mining? Thanks.

    Mitch Brown asked 4 months ago

    Hi Mitch, thanks for your questions. The Department has engaged with stakeholders across the resources industry on the draft QRIDP to develop a shared long-term vision for the future of the sector. Representatives from peak bodies, resource companies, community groups and landowners have joined numerous online and regional forums held around the state, sharing invaluable expertise and feedback for consideration in the plan. Consultation remains open until this Friday 11 February. We encourage people to make a submission to share their ideas for the Queensland Government to consider.    

    In addition to the cost-benefit analysis that was undertaken, the Central Highlands Regional Council is leading a planning study that will include a focus on the future of small mining and fossicking in the Gemfields. This is an opportunity to bring stakeholders and community together to discuss how we can operate effectively into the future. 

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    Are you aware that Australia is the Golden Benchmark for small scale hand mining around the world? Why do you want to reduce our world standing? As we all know that leases are generally large scale mining or at least commercial mining.

    michelle.johns8 asked 4 months ago

    Hi Michelle, we recognise that Queensland has a long history of small scale mining activity and we want to ensure there are pathways for small scale mining operations to continue.  

    However we need to consider how best to regulate small-scale mining going forward - this is in response to the cost of administering mining claims as well as coexistence and compliance issues.  

    We are considering all options and value your views on what other ways we might manage small-scale mining activities in future.

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    Will you encourage the council to offer an ownership type tenure that comes with mining rights?

    michelle.johns8 asked 4 months ago

    Hi Michelle, thanks for your suggestion. As we have mentioned, we are considering all options for the future of mining claims. If you haven't done so already, please provide any ideas you may have as a submission to the QRIDP for the Queensland Government to consider.

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    I have 2 mining claims at Rubyvale. Will I be able to keep them? Will I be able to sell them as my physical health isn’t great? Who will administer our bond payment?

    Jim BECK asked 4 months ago

    Hi Jim. The proposed action in the draft QRIDP states that grandfathering of existing mining claims could occur if government decides to remove mining claims from the Mineral Resources Act 1989.  

    Grandfathering arrangements would allow currently granted mining claims to continue despite the implementation of any new rules, regulations, or laws. Grandfathering could be a permanent or temporary arrangement, and could be implemented with some changes to current requirements. 

    As the draft QRIDP action to remove mining claims is a proposal, it is too early to say what will happen in the future. Consultation on grandfathering arrangements will occur if a decision is made to remove mining claims from the Act.

    Please note that there has been no change to your existing mining claims at this stage, which means you can still apply to transfer or renew them if you wish to do so.  

    If you haven't done so already, please provide any ideas you may have as a submission on the draft QRIDP for the Queensland Government to consider.

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    Did you undertake any official studies such as: 1) Exactly how many claims are unworked. 2) The impact of fewer SMC's to the Gemfields population and consequently the impact on businesses. 3) The impact of leases verses claims on our tourism industry, numbers?

    michelle.johns8 asked 4 months ago

    Hi Michelle. The Queensland Government commissioned a cost-benefit analysis into the small scale mining sector to understand the industry’s net economic impact on the Queensland economy.  The report can be found here.

    Additionally, the Central Highlands Regional Council is leading a planning study that will include a focus on the future of small mining and fossicking in the Gemfields. This is an opportunity to bring stakeholders and community together to discuss how we can operate effectively into the future.

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    The QRIDP executive summary states: To achieve this transformation, the Queensland Government and the resources industry will need to work collaboratively in several important ways: Point 3) Foster coexistence and sustainable communities. My question - How do you intend to ensure mutual benefits for communities and small scale miners?

    michelle.johns8 asked 4 months ago

    Hi Michelle, thanks for your question and your interest in the draft plan.

    We recognise that there needs to be a more effective system for small-scale mining and we want to hear from the community to enable these activities to continue in the most efficient and effective way for everyone. At this stage we are asking the community for their views on other more suitable options for consideration. Once we have reviewed all of the feedback, there will be further opportunities for the community to have their say before a decision is made. 

    If you have not done so already, we encourage you to complete the small-scale mining survey.

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    Whatever changes occur to the administration of small mining claims, will the department absolutely assure that existing mining tenures (eg. Some up time 10 years) remain unaffected to the changes? The department has use the term “grandfathering”, is my interpretation of that term, in this instance correct?

    Stephen asked 4 months ago

    Hi Stephen. The proposed action in the draft QRIDP states that grandfathering of existing mining claims could occur if government decides to remove mining claims from the Mineral Resources Act 1989.  

    Grandfathering arrangements would allow currently granted mining claims to continue despite the implementation of any new rules, regulations, or laws. Grandfathering could be a permanent or temporary arrangement, and could be implemented with some changes to current requirements. 

    As the draft QRIDP action to remove mining claims is just an proposal, it's too early to say what will happen in the future. Consultation on grandfathering arrangements will occur if a decision is made to remove mining claims from the Act.

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    Why has the Central Highlands Regional Council been granted $200k to conduct a “planning study”. This matter is between State and small claims holders. In fact, why is the Council involved at all?

    Stephen asked 4 months ago

    Hi Stephen. The planning study will be led by the Central Highlands Regional Council, and will include a focus on the future of small mining and fossicking in the Gemfields. The Queensland Government is working with the Central Highlands Regional Council to ensure a collaborative approach to the planning process. This is an important opportunity to bring stakeholders, community and different levels of government together to discuss what is working, what is not, and how we are going to operate effectively into the future.

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    If the dept decides to remove mining claims from the MRA1989 and some other sort of alternative tenure arrangement replaces the mining claim tenure currently in place will the holder still be able to mine in an underground situation or fossick for sapphire up to 2 metres (under the Fossicking Act) on a surface mine within the original boundaries of the original claim and will the dept look at site specific legislation and regulation for the "grandfathered"mining claim tenure and small scale mining in the future . Also will the other current legislations and regulations in force with regard to the mining industry (the framework) still apply if the current mining claim tenure is removed from the MRA1989. How would safety , royalty and environmental concerns and site compliance be administered under a senario where the mining claim is removed from MRA1989 ?

    Andyk asked 4 months ago

    Thanks for your message. 

    At this point, the draft QRIDP action to remove mining claims is just a proposal, so it's too early to say what will happen in future. However, we can advise that there is currently no plan to convert existing mining claims into mining leases. We're at the first step in the process and are asking the community for their views. Once we have this feedback we will develop some options for consideration, including matters you raised like depth of digging, safety, the environment and compliance. 

    As we have set out in previous responses, Grandfathering is a term for maintaining an old set of laws for some existing circumstances while a new set of laws apply to future circumstances. Grandfathering arrangements would allow currently granted mining claims to continue despite the implementation of any new rules, regulations, or laws. Consultation on grandfathering arrangements will occur if a decision is made to remove mining claims from the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

Page last updated: 18 May 2022, 10:39 AM