MMG will begin construction at its Dugald River project in mid-2016. Image: MMG.


By Samantha James

MMG’s $1.4 billion Dugald River zinc project has gained special status to help cut red tape and create hundreds of jobs in north Queensland.

State Development Minister and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham granted prescribed project status to Dugald River, 85km north east of Mt Isa.

“Projects like Dugald River are critical to economic development and job creation in the north-west during these tough times caused by ongoing resource commodity price lows,” Dr Lynham said. “Granting it prescribed project status will allow the coordinator-general to assist MMG to navigate processes and timely approvals through government.”

“This is tangible evidence of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to winning jobs and infrastructure in the north-west.”

MMG expected to start construction mid-year, creating 600 jobs during construction and about 400 jobs once the zinc mine was operational. Dr Lynham said the company had advised it was still finalising its workforce makeup, but anticipated having a mixed workforce of north-west locals, who would be bussed into camp, and fly-in, fly-out workers.

Dugald River is one of the world’s largest and highest grade undeveloped zinc-lead-silver deposits with a resource of 53 million tonnes.  At peak output of 160,000 tonnes per annum of zinc, Dugald River would be one of the world’s top 10 zinc mines. MMG anticipates starting production in the first half of 2018.