Boom not over: Roche

The growth of Queensland Resources sector isn't over by a long stretch, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche has said.

The growth of Queensland Resources sector isn’t over by a long stretch, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche has said.

“We must acknowledge today’s realities, commodity prices have plunged to near break-even levels. Companies in the North West have had to take the actions necessary to shore up their financial positions and there have been some layoffs and project deferrals,” Roche said.

Last month, Queensland Ores was forced to shut down its Wolfram Camp and Molybdenum Mine operations due to falling world commodity prices.

Western Australia based company, Matrix Metals, suffered a similar fate, appointing administrators and suspending mining and haulage at its operations in north west Queensland.

Currently, the site is continuing to process copper. The company’s administrator Vince Smith said it was hoped copper production would continue while options were considered.

Roche said regardless of the few mines that have been forced into administration by falling commodity prices, the boom could bounce back within the next few months.

“The clear message from the QRC to governments, state and federal, is don’t drop the ball on infrastructure,” Roche said.

“We need to be well positioned for the demand upturn, which experts are telling me could be sudden and pronounced. Mining is the lifeblood of Queensland and Australia.

“The revenues generated by the sector over the past decade are playing an essential role in steering Australia through the global credit crisis.

“At the Federal level, surplus funds being deployed to stimulate the domestic economy are being drawn from a bank built with a hefty taxation contribution from minerals and energy operations.

“If we can come out the other side of a short-term downturn in strong shape, there will be an enduring spin-off for communities,” he said.

The QRC’s words of encouragement seem to have worked on Waratah Coal who recently announced plans to build a new rail link to Abbot Point near Bowen, as well as a coal stockyard facility to export coal from the proposed Alpha mine.

It is the company’s alternative plan after the Federal Government rejected a plan to build a railway to a coal terminal at Shoalwater Bay.

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