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The Queensland Government has awarded preferred tender for the exploration of coal near Clermont, south-west of Mackay.

Minister for Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, said Queensland company, Vitrinite, now has the opportunity to apply for an exploration permit over 35km2 of land near Clermont in North Queensland.

“The area is adjacent to Vitrinite’s existing Karin Basin project on the western flank of the Bowen Basin which gives them the added potential to join the next pipeline of metallurgical coal projects in Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

“Vitrinite is a junior explorer and this shows is there is room for small and big players in Queensland’s vibrant $46 billion coal industry.

“Industry is showing a high level of confidence in Queensland’s coal sector with $128 million invested in exploration in 2018 – a 42 per cent increase over the previous year.

“As well, there is record demand for our high-quality metallurgical coal, with an increase of more than 12 per cent over the past financial year.

“This demand is forecast to increase further as the world transitions to renewables.”

Vitrinite’s Executive Director, Nicholas Williams, said Vitrinite and Itochu, as partners in the Karin Joint Venture, were pleased the Queensland Government had granted the company additional exploration blocks contiguous with their Karin coking coal deposit.

“We have already discovered some of the most exciting coal qualities in Australian history and expect to continue this trend within this land package,” Mr Williams said.

“We also want to reaffirm our proud support of the Clermont community and hope to move forward with local support as we strive to create new jobs and wealth for everyone who lives in Central Queensland.”

Vitrinite must also meet environmental, native title and other approvals, as well as land access requirements before on-ground exploration can start.

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