Peter Holt

New tax scheme to help more mineral discovery

THERE are still many more resources to be discovered in regional Queensland and the Federal Government has introduced a new tax incentive to make it more affordable for exploration companies.

A new taxation-based exploration scheme, where company investors can claim a portion of expenses as tax credits, passed through the Senate earlier this week.

The Federal Government hopes the Exploration Development Incentive will help smaller exploration companies.

Queensland Exploration Council chairman Geoff Dickie said Canada had a similar scheme and that there was more to be discovered in Queensland.

"We have the A-Z of minerals, energy and rare earths in Queensland, and the more we explore, the more likely it is that we will discover the new resources for the 21st century," he said.

The new scheme starts on July 1 and will be capped at $100 million over three years, before a review will take place.

The hope is the scheme will encourage grassroots exploration activities, or the generative and early stage exploration for new mineral deposits, the original policy document states.

Queensland Resources Council Michael Roche said junior exploration companies in the state were struggling to access capital and many were "just getting by".

He said company investors would welcome this initiative.

Mr Roche also said the industry had been calling for this scheme since 2009.

"As the research and development department for the mines of tomorrow, exploration expenditure is a recognised tax deduction, but under the current system, pure explorers who have no income therefore have no such claim," he said.