Mining and Heavy Industries

Queensland mining minister upbeat

Coal operations at Abbot Point. Photo: North Queensland Bulk Ports

Queensland’s minister for natural resources and mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, has gone against the grain, offering a positive spin on the state’s struggling mining sector.

Despite slumping prices in coal and other commodities, Lynham said on Sunday, May 15, that “green shoots” are starting to appear in on Queensland’s “battered resources industry landscape,” with investment activity continuing in the state.

“It’s certainly tough, but it’s not all gloom and doom,” the minister said.

“QGC has its two-year $1.7 billion Charlie 1 project to develop its natural gas tenements at Wandoan, supporting 1600 jobs.

“Rio Tinto is investing $2.6 billion to develop one of the world’s largest bauxite deposits at Weipa, with an average construction workforce of 600 people over three years.

“Adani has its mining leases for the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine, rail and port project.

“Stanmore Coal is reviving the former Isaac Plains coal mine near Moranbah in central Queensland.

“QCoal has the first of seven mining lease applications for its Byerwen coal project.

“MMG has prescribed project status to cut red tape and hopes to get its $1.4 billion Dugald River Zinc project into production mid-year up in the north-west.

“And in more good news for the northwest, Korella phosphate mine is ready to move to commercial production of up to 600,000 tonnes of phosphate per annum. “
Lynham says the state’s Palaszczuk Government recognised the impact of low international commodity prices on the industry, however.

“International markets are beyond the control of any individual government,” he said, “but there are things we can and are doing to assist the industry and the communities it supports.”

The party was fulfilling its election commitment for a freeze on royalties, and the state has the lowest payroll tax in the country, he argued.

“We have given explorers a 50% reduction in the expenditure that they have to commit to their mineral exploration permit,” he added.

“This will provide some relief while the market recovers, and importantly, will keep explorers investing in Queensland which is vital for the long-term health of the mineral sector.”

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