MMG’s Dugald mine in QLD’s North West Minerals Province. Image: MMG.
BY CAMERON DRUMMOND
THE QLD Government has put in place a blueprint to drive the next wave of resources development in in the State’s North West Minerals Province.
QLD State Development minister Dr Anthony Lynham unveiled the blueprint on 19 July, which was created to stimulate exploration investment and identify new job-creating prospects.
“The blueprint represents the combined efforts of government, industry and business stakeholders from across North West Queensland to facilitate a strong and prosperous future for this important region,” Dr Lynham said.
Underpinned by $39m of funding from the recent State Budget, the blueprint is designed to build on existing measures such as the Resources Development (Royalties) Policy and its incentives for major resources projects in the Galilee and Surat Basins as well as in the North West Minerals Province.
Measures to support the resources sector include large-scale geological surveys to identify new commercial deposits; a four-year exploration program to support exploration in greenfield and high-risk areas; more international promotion to investors including an annual investor forum in Townsville; and red-tape reduction for explorers, including a hands-on team to help smaller miners get their projects over the investment line.
Dr Lynham said a blueprint implementation team would be set up in Mount Isa to coordinate the effort, including running a North West Futures Forum later this year to bring experts and locals together to implement the blueprint.
“This all helps secure the next generation of resource development in the State’s north-west,” Dr Lynham said.
Dr Lynham also announced that a tender to explore 102 square kilometres near Cloncurry had gone to Teck Australia, the regional subsidiary of Teck – one of the largest producers of base metals, as well as specialty metals such as germanium, indium and cadmium.
Dr Lynham said resources activity in the region was showing green shoots of recovery with CuDeco’s Rocklands copper project ramping up, with the expected creation of 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.