Miles Government prioritises projects in Townsville - Mount Isa corridor

Published Monday, 25 March, 2024 at 06:32 AM

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

  • Minister Grace Grace “prescribes” two resource projects leading to fast-tracked approvals process overseen by State’s Coordinator-General
  • $7.8 billion Project Green Poly to establish Townsville as a key supplier into the renewable supply chain
  • Eva Copper Mine Project near Mount Isa and Cloncurry offers potential new supply for Mount Isa copper smelter

Two major projects with the combined potential for more than 5500 jobs in the Townsville-Mount Isa Corridor have been given a boost by the Miles Government.

They have been declared as prescribed projects, meaning the Queensland Coordinator-General can work with local governments and regulators to help progress them.

Project Green Poly represents a $7.8 billion investment will create one of Australia’s first integrated mine-to-manufacturing polysilicon supply chains.

It is expected to create around 4400 jobs in and around Townsville during construction and operation of a facility that will run for 30 years or more.

The Eva Copper Mine Project, located near Mt Isa and Cloncurry, will add a new stream of copper mining and smelting, boosting local supply for solar, wind and battery energy manufacturing.

The mine is anticipated to operate for at least 15 years and generate up to 1,250 jobs in construction and operations and extend the life of local copper mining and smelting jobs.

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace made prescribed project declarations for both projects.

Quotes attributable to Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Grace Grace:

“The Queensland Government continues to create new opportunities to put Queensland on the world stage as a renewable energy superpower.

“With our critical mineral resources and growing list of projects we are ready to be the home to renewables-linked mining, manufacturing and exporting.

“Project Green Poly will create the Queensland-based polysilicon supply chain the world needs to expand solar and battery energy generation.

“It will further boost the Townsville region as a renewable energy mining, processing and manufacturing hub.

“The Eva Copper Mine Project plans to provide a new source of copper concentrate that has the potential to feed Mount Isa’s copper smelter.

“Harmony Gold Mining Company already has key mining approvals for the project and my prescribed project declaration means the Office of the Coordinator-General can now provide additional assistance to coordinate remaining approvals.

“Priorities will include establishing a renewable energy source that can help run mining operations until the project connects to CopperString 2032.

“The project will support Mount Isa’s future, in line with our $50 million Mount Isa Transition Fund support package, announced in February 2024.

Quote attributable to Quinbrook Investment Partners Managing Director, Regional Leader for Australia Brian Restall

“Townsville has the potential to be a world-leading location to produce polysilicon given its proximity to high quality quartz resources, its great access to the Port of Townsville and the fact that the Lansdown Eco-industrial park, where our manufacturing is proposed, can be powered by 100% renewable energy.”

Quotes attributable to Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited CEO, Mr Peter Steenkamp:

“The Eva Copper project near Mount Isa, Queensland is transformational for Harmony as we transition into a global gold-copper producer. As one of the world’s largest gold producers, sustainability is embedded in our operating practices.

“Our people are our most important asset and this support from the Queensland Government will enable Harmony to continue creating long-term value for all its stakeholders, wherever we operate.”

Attributable to Resources and Critical Minerals minister Scott Stewart

“There is a bright future ahead for the North West Minerals Province and the broader Mount Isa region because of projects like this.

“Harmony Gold’s Eva copper project will support jobs during construction as well as operationally and will add another source to the smelter in Mount Isa.”

Attributable to member for Mundingburra Les Walker

“As a government we’re backing both these projects, the Lansdown Eco Industrial Precinct and Copperstring because we know this means more jobs for townsville and the north.

“This is all at risk from the LNP because they don’t back our progressive coal royalties which means Copperstring is at risk because of their budget black hole.”

Attributable to member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper 

“Both these projects mean highly skilled jobs for people in Townsville.

“North Queensland and Townsville is at the precipice of being a critical minerals, renewable and manufacturing powerhouse and this announcement is a step toward that.”

Further information

The Queensland Renewable Energy and Jobs Fund is driving Queensland’s energy transition.

The Queensland Government is unlocking global decarbonisation opportunities through the Queensland new-industry development strategy

The Mount Isa Transition Fund aims to support job creation for the local Mount Isa workforce.

Opportunities across the resources, agriculture, tourism, business and industry sectors have been identified in the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy.

Harmony Gold Mining Company received a grant in 2023 from the Queensland Government’s Collaborative Exploration Initiative.


Media contact: Kim Sweetman 0457 600 237