Mount Isa announcement highlights need for policies to encourage new investment

18 October 2023

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says the decision by Glencore to close its Mount Isa Mines underground copper operations and Lady Loretta zinc mine is unfortunate, but understandable, and commends the company for its commitment to work with affected employees to find new opportunities.

Glencore will maintain a strong presence in the region through its copper smelter, George Fisher Mine, zinc-lead concentrator and lead smelter and Townsville copper refinery.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the announcement highlights the need for new resources investment in Queensland to develop new projects as major mines like this reach their end of life.

“The future success of the resources sector cannot be taken for granted by governments and we need policies that encourage investment in new Queensland resources projects as more mines reach their end of production in coming years,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The Queensland Government needs to start listening to the many warnings about the threat to future investment as a result of its snap decision to impose the world’s highest coal royalty tax rates.

“In the current global economic climate, the State Government should be doing all it can to attract investment in new resources projects in Queensland.

“It’s time the Queensland Government started encouraging resources investment, which will support exploration and investment in new projects, rather than discouraging it with the world’s highest royalty taxes and endless approval processes,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Queensland’s North West Minerals Province offers enormous potential for the resources sector with abundant reserves of many the critical minerals the world needs to develop the new technologies for a decarbonised future.

“That potential can only be fully reached with the backing of investors providing the billions of dollars to develop the projects that will provide future jobs and economic benefits for Queensland.

“Sudden Government policy changes and over-complicated red and green tape and regulation will do little to encourage investors when they have more attractive options in other states and countries.”

Media Contact: Matt Dunstan – [email protected] or 0411 535 072