According to Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham, green shoots are starting to appear on the Queensland’s battered resources industry landscape.
Dr Lynham said although commodity prices globally were low, investment activity was continuing in Queensland.
“It’s certainly tough, but it’s not all gloom and doom,” he said, pointing to QGC and its two-year AUS$1.7 billion Charlie 1 project, which intends to develop its natural gas tenements at Wandoan. He also indicated that Rio Tinto is set to develop one of the world’s largest bauxite deposits at Weipa with an AUS$2.6 billion investment and average construction workforce of 600 people over three years, as well as Adani having its mining leases for the AUS$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,” he further added. 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 AUS$1.4 billion Dugald River Zinc project into production mid-year up in the north-west,” Dr Lynham continued.
“And in more good news for the northwest, Korella phosphate mine is ready to move to commercial production of up to 600 000 t of phosphate per annum.“
Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk government recognised the impact of low international commodity prices on the industry.
“International markets are beyond the control of any individual government, but there are things we can and are doing to assist the industry and the communities it supports,” Dr Lynham explained. “We are fulfilling our election commitment for a royalties freeze … We have the lowest payroll tax in the country and we are investing heavily in innovation … We have given explorers a 50%reduction in the expenditure that they have to commit to their mineral exploration permit.”
Dr Lynham believes this will provide some “relief while the market recovers”, and keep investments going into Queensland, which he indicated is “vital for the long-term health of the mineral sector.”
Dr Lynham said the industry continued to have a direct line to government through the resources ministerial roundtable he chaired, with representatives from the coal, petroleum and mineral sectors.
Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/16052016/green-shoots-starting-to-emerge-for-queensland-resources-sector-783/