Altona’s Cloncurry copper project set to bring nearly 600 jobs

Image: Altona Mining

Altona Mining’s Cloncurry copper project in Queensland is nearing development, after securing more approvals toward its funding.

Altona entered an agreement with Sichuan Railway Investment Group (SRIG), allowing SRIG to jointly fund the project through its Hong Kong subsidiary China Sichuan International Investment (CSII).

The project, located 95km north east of Mt Isa, contains around 1.65 million tonnes of copper and 0.41 million ounces of gold.

Altona expects to develop a seven million tonnes per annum open pit copper-gold mine and concentrator at the site, which is expected to have a mine life of 13 years.

The CSII issued US$200 million ($260 million) in capital and intends to raise more capital for the project.

The agreement received approval from the Sichuan Province’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) and is awaiting approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Altona managing director, Dr Alistair Cowden said, “It is great news that all Chinese approvals required to finalise this transaction have been obtained.

“I look forward to updating shareholders once we have been advised on the outcome of FIRB’s review of the transaction.”

The Queensland Government welcomed the mine’s progression and state treasurer and minister for trade and investment, Curtis Pitt, said once all approvals are through, the project will bring 300 construction jobs and 280 direct ongoing production jobs.

“This is a project that would inject new job opportunities and new economic activity into the north-west at a time unemployment rates in the region are well above the state average,” he said.

The project has also put native title agreements and mining leases in place.

Pitt added that it will also provide additional benefits for local businesses.

Altona Mining’s approvals comes after Metro Mining announced the beginning of construction at the Bauxite Hills mine in North Queensland in July.

The mine is expected to employ 200 people when developed.

Pitt also highlighted other major Queensland projects including the QGC’s $1.7 billion Charlie 1 natural gas project at Wandoan, set to support 1600 jobs; and Adani’s $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine, rail and port project.