Government supports workers impacted by Glencore mine closures

Published Wednesday, 18 October, 2023 at 10:32 AM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

  • Government support package of up to $50 million will help workers affected by the closure of Glencore’s Mount Isa Copper Operations and Lady Loretta Zinc Mine
  • Government calls on Glencore to contribute funding support

The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled a support package of up to $50 million for mine workers and the Mount Isa community.

The announcement follows Glencore’s decision to close its underground copper mine and copper concentrator in Mount Isa in 2025, along with the nearby Lady Loretta Zinc mine.

The support package comprises two elements:

  • Up to $30 million to accelerate development of resource projects in the North West Minerals Province in the next five years;
  • up to $20 million, to be matched dollar-for-dollar by Glencore, for an economic structural adjustment package for Mount Isa and North West Queensland.

The matched funding for the structural adjustment package is in addition to any support Glencore intends or is obliged to provide to their affected workforce.

The package will be delivered by the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and will be tailored to provide support for workers and the community.  

Mount Isa is at the heart of one of the richest minerals provinces in the world, with new critical industry minerals worth a potential $500 billion ready to be mined.

The $245 million Critical Minerals Strategy is helping to unlock new opportunities with support for exploration through:

  • reduced rents;
  • establishing critical mineral zones;
  • The $100 million Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund; and
  • the $75 million Queensland Resources Common User Facility.

This is further supported by the Big Build $5 billion investment in CopperString 2032 which will deliver a 1,100km transmission line from Townsville to Mount Isa.

The North West Queensland Regional Transformation Strategy and Implementation Plan currently under development will also harness the region’s world-class resources, agriculture industry and emerging renewable energy industry to identify further opportunities for jobs and investment growth.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“For 100 years, Mount Isa has been part of Queensland’s mining heritage.

“We’re determined Mount Isa and North West Queensland will be at the heart of our state’s mining future as well.

“Our number one priority is to protect jobs and retain skilled workers in this important region. 

“I understand many workers and their families will find Glencore’s decision a difficult one to accept.

“But we will always do what we can to support workers and their families to find new good, secure jobs.

“North West Queensland is central to the delivery of critical minerals needed for global decarbonisation and skilled workers like those at Glencore are vital for this new industry that is set to generate thousands of jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Steven Miles: 

“Mount Isa Copper Operations has been operating for over 60 years and its closure will be felt by the North West community. 

“I expect Glencore will do the right thing by its workers and the community. 

“Our Government will work together with Glencore to develop an economic support package to help workers and the community transition as these mines close in 2025.”

Quotes attributable to the Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick:

“The news of the planned closure of the underground copper mine, the copper concentrator in particular will cause a lot of uncertainty for the people of Mount Isa.

“My message today is clear.

“Our Government will back your city and your region all the way.

“The Palaszczuk Government has provided a series of assistance packages to Glencore to maintain operations at Mount Isa over the years, including for the ‘re-bricking’ of the Mount Isa Smelter to ensure its continued operation.

“Now I’m calling on Glencore to play its part and make a financial contribution to the economic support package, over and above their obligations to these workers.”

Quotes attributable to: Minister for Resources Scott Stewart:

“I share the pain these workers and their families are feeling today in light of this news.

“Mount Isa is a proud industrial town and the Mount Isa Copper Operations have been at the heart of the town for more than 60 years.

“We must now look to the future, both in how we can support workers transition to other roles, and support for miners to unlock new opportunities for North West Queensland.”    


Media contact: Geoff Breusch 0417 272 875 (Treasurer’s Office)