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Strong resources future reinforced in North Queensland Regional Plan

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Global Mining Review,

The Queensland (Australia) government’s North Queensland Regional Plan, has reinforced a strong future for the resources sector.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said the plan, recently released by State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick, specifically focused on the future opportunities for the mining industry.

Macfarlane said it was important that policies are put in place to back the potential outlined in the plan, in particular a commitment to clear assessment processes and timelines. He said: “This report points to the great prospectivity of North Queensland in its commodities of coal and natural gas, as well as other valuable commodities such as gold and metallic ore.”

“QRC believes it is essential that the State Government has a plan to develop these commodities, and capitalise on the prospects in critical minerals that drive the modern economies.

“To make the most of these opportunities, Queensland must have a clear framework and timelines for project assessments.

“If investment is to be attracted in new projects that create new regional jobs, Queensland must ensure that global investors have faith in its laws and regulations to allow ongoing resources development alongside environmental and regional benefits.”

Macfarlane said the QRC has worked with the government to promote new discoveries and protect existing jobs within the industry and for those Queenslanders, local businesses and communities indirectly benefiting from a strong resources sector.

“The plan balances the current challenges of the industry and the future opportunities for it and the people of North Queensland,” he continued.

Macfarlane said QRC welcomed the plan’s focus on three areas of opportunity for the resources sector. These are:

  • Supporting the identification and extraction of precious metals and rare earth elements. There is expected to be an increase in demand, due to their increasing use in emerging technologies (such as electric cars, renewable energy products and low-emission power sources).
  • Expanding the region’s support capacity (supply chain, logistics and other allied services) for the North West mineral province, Bowen Basin and Northern Galilee Basin.
  • Investigating and promoting new technologies to improve the sustainability and capabilities of mining and resource extraction. Technological advancement will also help improve the viability of extracting existing mineral deposits in the region.

According to the QRC Chief Executive, these opportunities, along with regulatory stability, streamlined assessment processes and land access, would underpin the sector’s continued growth and will deliver more jobs and more investment for North Queensland.

Macfarlane added: “The Queensland resources sector is essential to the wellbeing of the Queensland economy. It wants to see all sides of politics commit to polices that support new investment and new jobs […] QRC commits to working with all sides of the Queensland Parliament on policies that maximise regional and state-wide returns from investment in the North.”

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