Mount Isa has the potential to supply the clean energy economy, a report from the Climate Council has found.
Queensland is more vulnerable to climate change than any other state or territory in Australia says the report, 'Welcome to Queensland: Renewable One Day, and the Next, and Next...'
The report outlines the threats facing Queensland but also the economic opportunities if it takes advantage of the global transition to a clean energy economy.
Climate Council's CEO, Amanda McKenzie said their report highlighted the significant opportunities for North West Queensland with the global transition to renewable energy and batteries for households, businesses and electric cars as one of the world's richest mineral producing regions containing copper, lead and zinc as well as major silver and phosphate deposits.
"Demand for these minerals is growing - zinc, silver, lead, copper and rare earth metals for solar panels and wind turbines, while lead is needed in the production of electric batteries," Ms McKenzie said.
"The new clean energy economy provides tremendous opportunities for regional Queensland because we have the raw materials, infrastructure, workforce and access to supply chains that a zero emissions economy needs."
The report said the resources sector in the Mount Isa region has faced challenges in recent times as several older operations have closed, and lower commodity prices until 2017 have limited investments in exploration.
"While seizing the opportunities that the increased demand for minerals offers in the shift to a decarbonised economy, a determined effort to combat adverse health outcomes will need to be prioritised so that communities don't suffer the effects of exposure to lead or other heavy metals," the report said.
"To manage the health risks of lead mining and smelting in Mount Isa, it is important to fund universal blood lead level testing, followup and intervention for those with blood lead levels of 5 g/dL (micrograms per decilitre) or greater."
The report also called for the control of emissions and remediation of contaminated areas.