Regional development group, MITEZ welcomes the Queensland Government’s release of the Strategic Blueprint for Queensland’s North West Minerals Province and the commitment for $39m for new measures to stimulate future mining and other job creating activities.

MITEZ President, David Glasson said we recognise the urgent need to discover new mineral deposits to sustain mining and minerals processing in the North West for future decades.

He said existing facilities such as concentrators, smelters and refineries require enormous amounts of feedstock material such as ores and mineral concentrates and as existing mines mature or come to the end of their life, new sources and supply of minerals are required.

“The $27.1m to fund a range of geoscience initiatives over four years and reduced red would likely incentivise explorers and juniors to increase exploration activity for discovering the next generation of mineral deposits” said Mr Glasson.

He said the blueprint highlights a breakdown of key areas of where funding will be allocated such as for innovation, technology and supporting industry-led research and development.

MITEZ understands over $5m will be invested by the Queensland Government to implement other programs in the Strategic Blueprint such as such assessing the current use of infrastructure including rail, water and energy with particular focus on common user facilities to reduce the need for small mines to fund costly capital projects and instead contribute towards shared infrastructure.

Mr Glasson said the $1.5m over three years to stimulate research to progress new agriculture opportunities comes at the right time as MITEZ is already working with a number of Councils across the region planning to develop large scale irrigation. MITEZ is managing the feasibility study into a new dam on the Cloncurry River and some of this water could be used for irrigating crops to develop a future bio-fuels industry in the Cloncurry Shire.

Also welcomed are plans for initiatives and activities that focus on industry diversification as for too long the North West region has put nearly all its eggs into the one basket with an over-reliance on mining and the blueprint will assist in identifying and examining new opportunities.

Mr Glasson said MITEZ was included on the North West Minerals Province Taskforce and looks forward to continuing to work closely with the various Queensland Government agencies and industry stakeholders in the implementation of the plan.

“We will continue to push the key enablers, Energy, Water and Transport as the top priorities whilst the Blueprint is being actioned” said Mr Glasson.