The world needs our resources: Katter

Jan 24, 2023

The world needs our resources: Katter

Jan 24, 2023

North West Queensland had untold resources to offer the world in “new economy minerals” like copper, cobalt, zinc and vanadium for the production of batteries and devices and can feed global technology demand, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.


The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Energy Technology Perspectives Report 2023 this week and noted that current “planned expansions of mineral processing capacity worldwide fall well short of the volumes that will be needed for rapid deployment of clean energy technologies”.[1]


The IEA noted that China is the largest producer of copper, lithium, nickel and cobalt, and that it was vital that supply chains be diversified.


Mr Katter said this was where North and North West Queensland could step in. 


“The Queensland Government can build its legacy across the Townsville to Mount Isa corridor, and help the State support the global technology revolution, by delivering on its 2022 plans and announcements with 2023 construction contracts,” he said.


“As the Palaszczuk Government looks to how it can deliver on the myriad of so-called ‘plans’, such as the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan and the Queensland Energy & Jobs Plan, all roads lead to North and North West Queensland.


“Unlocking one of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions and Australia’s best clean energy opportunity will pave the way for a boom-time that will put Mount Isa at the centre of the world stage.”


Mr Katter said the State’s ambitious energy and minerals plans would be the benchmark against which the Government measured its success or failure over the next two years. 


“No matter how you look at it, the North West is essential to all the policy preoccupations of our leaders in Brisbane and also in Canberra right now, and this is the year for building. 


“We have about $740 billion worth of untapped, highly-valuable mineral resources out here, just waiting to be unearthed with local and global markets that are practically begging for what we can provide.


“But very little of this potential – minerals or renewables – will be realised if these resources cannot be feasibly developed, including removing key roadblocks such as access to the national electricity grid.


“At every turn all levels of government have shown their support for more minerals production in the North West, more clean energy in the North, and for key initiatives like CopperString 2.0, and I have no doubts that this support has been genuine.


“But 2023 is time to bring all the plans and platitudes into action, the North and North West are ready to realise their potential, and as a local as well as a local MP, I am more committed than ever to making sure this happens.”


Mr Katter said he was pleased by the Government’s continued progress towards a Government-led delivery model for CopperString 2.0.


Townsville Enterprise CEO, Claudia Brumme-Smith, said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had made it clear to the Queensland Parliament that it supported the minerals and energy vision for North Queensland and the CopperString Project, and agreed that 2023 was all about delivering.


“The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has just released its Inputs, Assumptions and Scenarios Report for 2024 with Townsville North Queensland’s renewable energy zone capacity scoring off the charts compared to any other area in the country,” she said.[2]


“There is no other region in Australia that deserves investment into transmission lines more than Townsville and Mount Isa.


“It is a rarity for a region to have world-leading green power capacity and critical mineral tenements co-located together, with the industrial processing and export capacity in Townsville.


“The Townsville to Mount Isa corridor is the future of Australia, and it deserves investment into transmission lines now; 2022 was a crucial year for planning and getting the policies right with the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and 2023 is the year to start building right here.”


The CopperString 2.0 Project is a 1,000km high-voltage network line that will connect the people, businesses and communities of Mount Isa, Cloncurry and the North West Minerals Province to the national electricity grid. It would deliver:


  • 800 construction jobs, 50-100 direct permanent ongoing jobs, and 3,560 indirect jobs;
  • A 40 per cent average reduction in delivered electricity costs for industrial customers in the North West Minerals Province, down from amongst the world’s highest electricity costs that are currently imposed on customers in the region;
  • A $132.6 billion cumulative increase in mining revenue out to 2050.


[2] (see Page 19 for REZ resource limits and Initial transmission limits graph)