Copper decision a win for the community

Posted November 11, 2015


(Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche)

Peak industry body the Queensland Resources Council has hailed the decision by Glencore to postpone the closure of its copper processing operations in north Queensalnd.

New legislation which allows for a large part of the status quo in the face of new environmental regulations was passed by the Queensland parliament in September.

It followed intense lobbying by Mount Isa City Council, local members and community groups with an announcement by Glencore at the time that it would begin closing operations in 2016.

The legislation remains in effect until 2022, QRC chief executive Michael Roche said

The announcement of Glencore’s agreement with the State Government on the new environmental licensing conditions for the smelter would ensure the future of 800 direct jobs across the company’s North Queensland supply chain, Mr Roche said.

“Glencore is a major economic contributor to the north-west region of Queensland and both the copper smelter in Mount Isa and the refinery in Townsville provide direct and indirect jobs as well as a broader benefit to local businesses and community organisations,” he said.

“The slump in commodity prices has resulted in many jobs being lost so it’s heartening to be able to welcome some good news of jobs being preserved and extended in the long term.

“What this shows is that when you combine a good viable mineral resource, a well-run asset, a sound business case, and add in political goodwill backed by government action, we can achieve a good outcome for all parties.”

The resources sector’s contribution to the north-west’s economy was $2 billion in 2014-15 according to the QRC’s recent annual economic contribution report, Mr Roche said.


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