$ 30m blueprint to promote mining
THE State Government has announced a $ 30 million blueprint to support resource development in North West Queensland and handed rights to explore for base metals near Cloncurry to a subsidiary of Canadian mining giant Teck.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham yesterday released the North West Minerals Province Blueprint and announced a tender to explore 102sq km near Clon- curry had gone to Teck Australia.
“The blueprint represents the combined efforts of government, industry and business stakeholders from across North West Queensland to facilitate a strong and prosperous future,” Dr Lynham said.
More than $ 30 million worth of measures included large- scale geological surveys, a four- year exploration program in greenfield and highrisk areas and more international promotion to in- vestors including an annual investor forum in Townsville.
The blueprint will also fund a long- term regional economic diversification strategy, including an integrated agriculture plan and a visitor survey to identify drive, paleo and ecotourism opportunities.
Teck Australia will start exploration work for zinc, lead and silver as soon as it is granted an exploration authority.
It comes as base metal prices are improving including zinc prices which have climbed about 30 per cent in the past year.
Dr Lynham said resources activity was building with CuDeco’s Rocklands copper project ramping up and expected to create 200 jobs, Altona’s Cloncurry copper project moving closer to development with nearly 600 construction and operational jobs and MMG’s Dugald River zinc project on track to create 400 jobs.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane welcomed the blueprint, saying the targeted incentives would encourage investment and deliver jobs for regional communities.
Queensland Exploration Council chairman Brad John said the blueprint would attract investors both domestically and from overseas.
“It was pleasing to see the Minister announce an investor forum in Townsville which recognises the significant level of economic activity that is driven out of the North West and the Port of Townsville,” Mr John said.