$ 30m blue­print to pro­mote min­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

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.

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