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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    North-West mine extension to boost economy and jobs

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    North-West mine extension to boost economy and jobs

    Local communities in North-West Queensland will have better job opportunities and security, as underground shaft hoisting operations get set to commence at Glencore’s Ernest Henry Mine near Cloncurry.

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps opened the new mine extension, which will see operations transition from open pit mining to underground shaft mining, and welcomed the investment by Glencore into the resources industry.

    “The $589 million commitment to continue to grow the mine will provide a major boost to Queensland’s economy and has secured jobs that would not have otherwise existed,” Mr Cripps said.

    “It proves the sector is on board with the State Government’s strong plan for Queensland’s resources sector to ensure a brighter future for generations of Queenslanders.

    “The transition to underground shaft mining will see mine operations extended to at least 2026 and will provide jobs for more than 500 employees and contractors.

    “This extension will double production to around six million tonnes of ore per annum in 2015, producing 50,000 tonnes of copper and 70,000 ounces of gold in concentrate.

    “The Newman Government promised at the 2012 election grow resources as one of the four pillars of the economy.

    “We are delivering by cutting red-tape and speeding up approvals to restore the sector as a world leader.

    “Mining is now a larger employer of full-time workers in the State than both the agricultural or hospitality sectors, which highlights the importance of the sector to Queensland families as well as economic growth.”

    Mr Cripps said the extension of operations by the mine supported the Newman Government’s ResourcesQ initiative.

    “Under Labor the resources industry was tied up in red tape and regulation, with no clear direction for its long term future, but we are committed to revitalising the sector,” he said.

    “At the end of 2013, I launched the ResourcesQ initiative to develop a 30 year vision and action plan to ensure Queensland continues to have a competitive and diversified resources sector.

    “Over the past six months, I travelled around Queensland and visited five major resource provinces and heard from industry and communities about where they would like to see the resources sector in 30 years’ time.

    “This consultation has equipped us the tools we need to ensure Queensland remains a global resource destination and continues to build on our competitive strengths.

    “I am pleased to say we are delivering for the likes of Ernest Henry Mine, which will benefit from this initiative as we deliver a strong and diversified sector to operate in.”

    [ENDS] 25 June 2014

    Media contact: Kate Haddan 0418 373 516 or Eleisha Rogers 0413 375 088