Australia's Queensland Government is inviting bids from mining companies for the state's North West Minerals province exploration. 

Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said that the tenders will open for the exploration of 102km² with potential for copper, gold, lead and zinc.

Dr Lynham said: “Queensland is one of the world’s leading destinations for mining and resources investment, and exploration is the first step towards future jobs and regional economic development.

“The successful tenderer will to be required to meet environmental conditions and negotiate land access and compensation agreements with landholders, including any relevant native title, before on-ground exploration can commence.”

Tenders are set to close on 2 February 2017 and a final decision will be taken in the first half of next year.

"Queensland is one of the world’s leading destinations for mining and resources investment."

The inaugural exploration forward programme was released in July, also includes 273km² for coal exploration between Middlemount and Blackwater in the Bowen Basin in April 2017.  

Dr Lynham said that the exploration plan provided certainty and opportunity to industry.

Resources explorers and miners will be able to plan for future opportunities through an annual forward programme.

Queensland’s exploration concessions provide a 50% expenditure concession for mineral, as well as coal explorers.

Over the next two years, mineral explorers will also receive more than $30m in financial benefits, Lynham added.

Image: An annual forward programme will allow mining firms to plan ahead. Photo: © the State of Queensland.