The resources industry is supporting over 10,000 jobs in North West Queensland and over a third of the region's gross regional product, an industry forum has heard
QRC policy director Andrew Barger told a state industry breakfast in Cloncurry the resources industry was worth $390 million in wages to the North West in 2019-20 equating to 4495 full time jobs and future prospects were bright.
Mr Barger said $638 million was spent locally on goods and services as well as community contributions such as grants.
In flow on benefits there were an additional 6276 jobs and an additional value of $789 million amounting to $1.8 billion which was 36pc of the Gross Regional Product for the North West, he said.
Mr Barger said the value was derived from five minerals: copper at 37pc, zinc at 28pc, lead at 19pc, silver at 12pc and gold at 4pc.
According to the Minerals Council of Australia, the outlook was good for local minerals with outlook for copper very strong and rare earth minerals even stronger, due to their use in renewable energy industries and electric vehicles.
Mr Barger said the rapid deployment of clean energy technologies as part of energy transitions implied a significant increase in demand for minerals.
He quoted the International Energy Agency who said carbon net zero by 2070 would mean a quadrupling of mineral requirements for clean energy technology by 2040, while net zero by 2050 requires six times more minerals than today.
Elements like copper, lithium, cobalt and zinc were in high demand in electric cars and in power generation such as wind and solar PV.
Mr Barger said Goldman Sachs analysis in 2020 said copper was facing a supply crunch with bullish forecasts of price rises to 60pc by 2025.
"Investment opportunities are knocking for the North West," Mr Barger said.
Meanwhile the demand for zinc in batteries is growing due to their longer service life, non flammable electrolytes and more stable charging cycles.
Mr Barger quoted the June 2021 Resources and Energy Quarterly which said Redflow were offering a 10 KWh zinc-bromine battery which offers less sensitivity to ambient temperature than lithium ion batteries.
He also said 2020-21 was a strong year for Queensland exploration dollars with expenditure rising for copper, gold and base metal exploration, much of that in the North West.
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