Mount Isa Mayor Danielle Slade has welcomed the Queensland Government $14.8 million commitment to the proposed CopperString high-voltage powerline project to connect the North West to the National Electricity Market on the east coast.
"This funding brings this once-in-a-lifetime project one step closer to becoming a reality and is excellent news for Mount Isa and the North West Minerals Province," Cr Slade said.
"CopperString 2.0 will lead to a significant increase in the scope, size and capabilities of the region's mining industry, because a connection to the National Electricity Grid will reduce the cost of electricity for mining operations, minerals processors and other industrial customers."
Cr Slade said the funding would help safeguard the future of thousands of mining jobs and greatly improve business confidence and the competitiveness of the mining sector for generations to come, with flow-on benefits for the North West.
"It's estimated that the construction phase alone of the CopperString project will create 750 new jobs," she said.
"This is the sort of major infrastructure project our region needs now more than ever. "I welcome this funding announcement and look forward to seeing the CopperString 2.0 project progress."
The $1.5 billion CopperString project will deliver a 1100-kilometre high-voltage transmission line - the nation's largest geographical expansion of the National Electricity Market - and integrate the North West's isolated power supply with North Queensland and the rest of the state's electricity network.
The company behind the project said they would release an independent study by minerals sector experts in coming weeks which forecasts a massive boost to Queensland's economy with significant increases in real income, employment and exports when the North West Minerals Province accesses flexible and competitive electricity supply via the NEM.
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