Minerals booster package drives the North

Published Thursday, 25 November, 2021 at 12:33 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

A suite of measures – including a $10 million North Queensland mineral demonstration processing plant – will drive the North-West’s growth as part of a draft 30-year resources plan.

Speaking at the first forum examining the draft Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan in Townsville, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the sector was a key economic driver for the city.

“The North West Minerals Province has the minerals that will be needed for the world to build clean energy systems, which means more jobs for regional Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.

“When the North West Minerals Province rocks, Townsville gets rolling.

“That’s why it’s important to look to the future so we can continue to develop the resources sector which will benefit all of Townsville.”

Mr Stewart said the release of the draft Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan came the same week as the Palaszczuk Government announced funding for a demonstration processing plant in Townsville.

The plant will support mine proponents – particularly those around Julia Creek – to demonstrate their processing of vanadium for market testing.

“This demonstration plant positions Queensland for future commercial-scale onshore minerals processing and lays the foundation for a potential new battery manufacturing industry in North Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.

The new economy minerals package includes:

  • the $10 million critical minerals demonstration plant in Townsville
  • development of a Queensland Battery Industry Strategy
  • delivering the Collaborative Exploration Initiative until 2024, to provide  grants to help explorers find more potential deposits 
  • using new technology to re-open old mines
  • potential rent deferral for new economy minerals projects
  • more international marketing of potential new economy mineral projects to investors.

Minister Stewart was in Townsville today at a forum to discuss the draft plan, including measures to drive new economy minerals.

“The government is focused on securing a strong long-term future for Queensland’s resources industry,” Mr Stewart said.

“Our vision for the next 30-years is for a resilient, responsible and sustainable Queensland resources industry that grows as it transforms.  

“The plan outlines how we will work with industry to achieve this vision.

“We now want to hear everyone’s view on this plan to position Queensland’s resources sector to help lead our economic recovery into the future.

“The global demand for new economy minerals to electrify the global economy and address climate change is growing day by day, already we are seeing growth in the value of metal exports from Queensland up 9.3 per cent over the past year to $10.6 billion.

“Right now, we have an enormous opportunity to find, mine, process and manufacture what the world needs to decarbonise its economy.”

The latest measures come as construction is to start on Queensland’s first vanadium mine next year.

Minister Stewart said providing another two years of grants to explorers under the Collaborative Exploration Initiative would lead to more potential jobs for regional Queenslanders.

“When it comes to creating more projects and jobs in the resources sector, it all starts with exploration,” he said.

“Furthermore, the program is delivering for the Queensland economy, with every dollar invested by the government generating another $1.45 in private sector investment.”

The draft plan has 43 actions that address six key focus areas:

  • growing and diversifying the industry
  • strengthening ESG credentials and protecting the environment
  • fostering coexistence and sustainable communities
  • ensuring strong and genuine First Nations partnerships
  • building a safe and resilient workforce and
  • improving regulatory efficiency.

It is open for consultation until February 2022 with the final plan due for release in mid-2022.

Visit resources.qld.gov.au/qridp for more information.


Media inquiries: Chris Lees 0434 859 940