1100km ‘missing link’ to unlock $6.5b, 3.5k jobs
THE missing link in Queensland's power network would help create 3500 mining jobs and generate $6.4 billion in royalty revenue over the next 30 years, new analysis has revealed.
The report into CopperString 2.0, which would link Mount Isa to the national energy grid through a 1100km high-voltage powerline, found the $1.5 billion project would lower power prices paid by miners by at least 40 per cent and unlock prime solar and wind sources.
According to the report by leading consultants, access to the cut-priced and low-emissions electricity would help miners stake up projects throughout the North Western Minerals Province), which has an estimated $680 billion in untapped resources.
The province is regarded as one of the world's largest deposits of "new economy" minerals, which are essential for the production of electric cars solar panels, smartphones, laptops and other devices powered by lithium-ion batteries.
"The increased production in the NWMP supported by providing access to the National Electricity Market via CopperString 2.0 is estimated by ACIl Allen forecasts to sustain an average of 3560 full-time-equivalent jobs for at least the next 25 years …" the report says.
"The future of Townsville and the region can be secured as the value-add hub for natural resources flowing from the west, both mineral and renewable energy."
The report also cites a recent warning by the International Energy Agency about the need for supply-chain security for minerals that will play a critical role in clean energy production. "Queensland has the opportunity to ensure these and other key technologies can be adequately supplied with critical minerals to support the acceleration of energy transition around the world," it says.
CopperString 2.0 director Joseph O'Brien said the study revealed the significant benefits of the project.
"The opportunity is real and substantial with growth in Queensland's real income forecast to be equivalent to a one-off boost of approximately $6000 for every Queensland resident," he said.
The State Government has tipped $14.8 million into the development of CopperString, which submitted its initial paperwork seeking relevant approvals last year.
Originally published as 1100km 'missing link' to unlock $6.5b, 3.5k jobs