Commitment to Copper

Posted November 10, 2015

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Glencore has given a renewed commitment to its copper operations in Queensland.

The Swiss-based company has announced that key processing operations will extend beyond planned closure dates of 2016 and 2017.

New environmental licensing conditions allow the Mount Isa Mines copper smelter to operate to the end of 2022.

The Mount Isa copper smelter and sister refinery in Townsville will continue to run with the same number of employees, said Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady.

The process had run its course with a favourable result said Cr McGrady.

It included lobbying the then Newman government and opposition for support, going through the change of government and convincing the new environment minister to maintain the status quo.

The steps to amend the environmental legislation were finalised in September this year, Cr McGrady said.

“(Glencore Chief Operating Officer North Queensland Copper Assets) Mike Westerman has managed to convince his board to commit funds to finance the few changes and alternations that are required.”

“This announcement is a shot in the arm for our city.

“It will bring a great sense of relief to those many employees of the copper smelter and their families and will provide certainty across our community.”

Mr Westerman will brief Mount Isa city councillors this this afternoon (Wednesday) to answer any questions in relation to this decision.

The resources sector still had a long road ahead with many difficult decisions yet to be made, but he was confident that a positive future would emerge, Cr McGrady said.


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