Historic day for Dugald River Mine

Greg Campbell, Cloncurry mayor

Greg Campbell, Cloncurry mayor

I hope everyone is gearing up for the 2017 Christmas Festival and markets to be held from 24-26 November. The Christmas light competition for residences and businesses will be running again this year with the addition of a rural mailbox decorating category as well – I look forward to seeing the marvellous creations around the Shire.

November has been a busy month in Cloncurry, with the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards and the MMG Dugald River opening on November 8, it would have been great to have representative from the State Government present to acknowledge this milestone. Nevertheless the day went on and I would like to share a copy of my opening speech with you.

‘Today is a historic day for MMG and the Dugald River Mine. The deposit at Dugald River has been known about for many years with the lease changing hands several times and having the project almost started a couple of times. To come to this day, to have a company commit to the project and bring it into operation is truly significant. The capital investment is also substantial – around $1.7 Billion, reported today.

The opening and operation of a mine is not new to Cloncurry. The first recognised major mine opened here 150 years ago as the Great Australia Mine by Ernest Henry.

Copper and gold mines opened, thrived and died over the next century. More recently, the Monument, Tick Hill, Selwyn, Thekilano, Osborne, Mt Cuthbert have been contributors. Ernest Henry has successfully completed a mammoth undertaking to transition from open cut to underground. Phosphate Hill is consistently producing about 1 million tonnes of fertiliser a year and Minister Lynham’s colleague, Coralee O’Rourke was in town in October 2016, to open the Cudeco Rocklands project.

Being the centre of the North-West Minerals province for many years, Cloncurry is very happy with mining and is a strong supporter and advocate for Mining projects. To provide for this growth, the lobbying of State and Federal Governments and industry is crucial to deliver reliable and efficient transport links, water and energy.

The Cloncurry Community also directly supports mining projects by the provision of local roads, airport and range of social and utility infrastructure to support residents. Some mining companies contribute substantially more to the social fabric and economic growth of the community then others.

MMG’s Dugald River project is forecast to deliver approximately $418 Million in royalties and $548 Million in company tax to the State Government over the next 20 years.

Over the last 10 years, mines in the Cloncurry Shire have contributed close to $1.5 billion in royalties to the State. So without being subtle, it would be great to see more money committed during this election campaign for resource Councils to be able to deliver infrastructure to support mining projects.

Dugald River commencing operations is excellent timing. With the zinc price at very strong levels, 170K tonnes of zinc at upwards of $3000 US, Dugald River’s income potential looks strong.

I am sure Dugald River will contribute to the prosperity of our great State with hundreds of millions in royalties and tax, hundreds of jobs between Townsville and Brisbane and major procurement to benefit nationally and internationally.  

At this time, I trust MMG’s pledge to be a significant contributor to the region, both economically and socially and the community expectation that MMG has identified around employment and procurement as part of their social licence to operate is actualised.

I am sure MMG has and will provide economic stimulus to the state, I eagerly await to what prosperity they will bring to Cloncurry.

To date, MMG has employed 2 staff locally and clearly a lot more needs to be done to improve that figure.

I have reiterated many times the phrase ‘ its about local jobs – not just jobs for locals by this I mean I not only want to see the local people being successful but opportunities and expectation that new jobs will bring new people and new families to town. The only way to ensure real growth.

Our prosperity also requires procurement in the local area. A quick procurement reality check by comparison shows MMG spent about $1.8 Million dollars last year when Council spent approximately $20 Million.

We look forward to ensuring MMG produce mutually beneficial outcomes for Cloncurry, Dugald River and the greater North West.’

Greg Campbell, Mayor

Cloncurry Shire Council