A $1 billion mine could be developed as early as 2015, creating 250 construction and 150 permanent jobs
Queensland mining has had its fair share of opportunities over the years. The rich and varied geological composition of the land mass of the ‘Sunshine State’ has given Queenslanders much to smile about. With a wide variety of precious metals and coal lying under the surface, it’s no wonder, the mining industry in the state refuses to lose faith.
We all know about the issues facing coal mines in Queensland as commodity prices are put under the squeeze of a high dollar and the slowing down of world economies. News of how mining companies have been forced to rethink how they manage their mining operations has affected many local communities as jobs are trimmed from the once fat mining bone.
Despite coal being under pressure, there are signs of rapid improvement in mining in far north Queensland, as Rio Tinto look to further develop their bauxite mine at Weipa. Northern Queensland is rich in mineral deposits, so it comes as no surprise to find out a new mine could bring many new jobs to the region.
Recently the local Cairns newspaper, The Cairns Post, published news of a proposed $1 billion tungsten watershed project north of Mt Carbine ( just north of Cairns), with expectations of a mid 2015 start.
The mining company Vital Metals Ltd’s Managing Director, Mark Strizek, said he hoped construction would start after the wet season abates.
“2.5 million tonnes per year”
Already the company has completed feasibility studies of the mining project and it’s looking like a sure winner in terms of profitability and supply and demand. Hopes run high for the expected 2.5 million tonnes per year project, which is estimated to earn Vital Metals Ltd around $526m from revenue of $1.08 billion. The mine is also expected to have a ‘shelf-life’ of about 10 years, although it could be a lot longer than that should further exploration efforts reveal new mineral deposits.
“$172 million construction budget”
Mr Strizek said it was fantastic news for far north Queensland and went on to say that the $172 million construction budget would bring jobs to about 250 workers over 20 months. About 150 staff would be on-site to operate the mine, and an accommodation camp will be also be constructed.
Focussing on regional employment benefits for the local communities, Mr Strizek said the company would prefer to employ local residents, including Western Yalanji indigenous people, on a drive-in, drive-out roster.
Japanese partners provide good mining opportunities for Queenslanders
Japanese company, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation are already on board with more plans to bring in a new Japanese joint venture partner to finance the construction phase.
“$13 billion of mining projects”
It was good news for the Cairns Chamber of Commerce chief executive Deb Hancock, who made a statement identifying the watershed Queensland mine project as a major contributor to the $13 billion of projects already on the cards in the region.
“more Queensland mine projects yet to be announced”
The Chamber’s remarks were expected to fire up community confidence in the region because the volume of investment dollars was a signal of more jobs and increased service opportunities for the local communities and suppliers. It seems the good news just keeps on coming, as the Chamber said more Queensland mine projects were yet to be announced.
Keep up-to-date with Queensland mining news each week – get your copy of iMINCO Project News.