A new wave of mining jobs and a boom in the price of gold has been announced by the Queensland Government, with some of the world’s most valuable metal reserves being tapped to create the world-class processing plants needed to make the metal available to the domestic market.
Key points:The Government says it will create 1,200 jobs in the gold mining sector and boost output to 1 million tonnes per yearThe Queensland Government says mining will be the fastest-growing sector in the state’s economy, but the industry is not expected to have a significant impact on Queensland’s carbon emissionsKey points Queensland’s gold mine is the world ‘largest gold ore processing plant’The Government will create 400 new jobs at the facilityThe Queensland Gold and Ore Processing (G&E) Ltd is the only gold mine in Australia that is a state-owned enterprise.
The state is one of the fastest growing gold producers in the world, with demand for the metal surging in the past two years, with global demand doubling from last year.
The G&E plant, located on the Darling Downs, is already producing around 2.5 million tonnes of gold a year.
It will create more than 800 jobs at its plant in Port Augusta, the state capital.
But the Queensland Gold Mining Council (QGMC) says the mine will have a major impact on the state economy.
“It’s really about creating a strong local economy,” said Greg Wicks, the QGMC’s vice president of mining.
“The Queensland economy has been growing for a number of years, but we’ve seen some serious changes.”
For the first time in almost a decade, we have more jobs in a mining industry than we have in any other sector.
“We’re creating new jobs here in Queensland.”
A lot of people in the industry have already seen a significant increase in the wages and benefits.
“Mr Wicks said the G&A’s project was a great example of Queensland’s efforts to diversify the economy, while also protecting the environment.”
When you start with this project, there’s going to be a significant environmental impact,” he said.”
There’s going’t be a massive impact on local communities.
“This project will be a catalyst for many more new jobs.”
Mr O’Brien said the state had a strong mining sector in Queensland, but it was not a priority for the Government.
“Queensland has a strong gold industry, we’ve got a good mining sector, we do have some really exciting projects,” he told ABC Radio Queensland.
But he said Queensland needed to focus on the “big picture”.
“I’m really proud of the state we have here in terms of mining,” he added.
“But we’ve had to do a lot of work with local communities to help them get on the right track.”
The Queensland Labor Government says the state would be a “very strong” gold producer, with the Queensland Mining Commission, Goldfields Gold, Gold Mines Gold and Goldfields Coal mining a combined total of about 1,400 jobs in 2016.
However, it has been revealed the Government is investing more than $2 billion into the state to boost output at the G4 Gold Processing Plant.
It is expected to create more employment in the Goldfields plant, which is one part of the G5, and a further 1,100 jobs at a facility at Port Augusta.
The Government is also building a $3.5 billion steel plant in the Queensland Steelworks in Townsville, which will provide jobs for more than 400 people.
Goldfield Iron ore mines in the Northern Territory will also have jobs created by the construction of the new facility.
Queenslands Goldfields mining operations are not expected be affected by the Goldfield Iron Ore Mine closures, which are expected to save $4.3 million over the next three years.
The Queensland Mining Industry Association (QMIA) said the new jobs would be part of a “huge boost to Queensland’s economy”.
“This is a major step forward in Queensland’s plan to create jobs for future generations and deliver economic benefits for Queenslanders and businesses,” QMIA chief executive Dave Trowbridge said.
He said the Government had a “robust” plan to diversise the economy in the event of a gold price crash, adding the state was “fully engaged” with its international competitors.
“These major investment in the G8 and the G20 nations have created a strong economic footprint for Queensland and the region,” he explained.
“While it will take time to see the full impact, this investment is clearly designed to increase Queensland’s attractiveness as a destination for investment.”
Topics:mining-industry,gold,mining-rural,mining,environment,jobs,goldfields-6743,port-augusta-4850,queenslandFirst posted May 15, 2021 15:22:11Contact Claire MacLeodMore stories from Queensland