The Queensland Government is fast tracking the CopperString 2.0 high voltage transmission line to provide cheaper power and turbo-charge investment across the North West Minerals Province.
This will see the national electricity grid extended from Townsville to Mt Isa, which will create thousands of jobs in mining and industrial manufacturing for generations to come.
During construction, CopperString 2.0 will create thousands of jobs and 30 ongoing operational jobs after the project is complete.
The potential economic benefits from unlocked private investment in the project are modelled at over 3500 jobs in North Queensland and a $79 billion economic uplift in 30-plus years, according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“I just don’t want to see the minerals cobalt, copper, scandium and vanadium mined in Queensland, I want to see batteries manufactured in Queensland because that means more jobs in the regions,” Palaszczuk said.
“This is the type of productive infrastructure that will position Queensland for the next half a century.”
As well as driving job creation in North Queensland’s resources and manufacturing sectors, the CopperString 2.0 project will also lower energy costs in the North West Minerals Province.
It will also ensure regional Queensland has the required infrastructure to capitalise on its opportunities from one of the largest and most valuable mineral deposits in the world.
The North West Minerals Province is one of the world’s richest mineral producing regions, including the Mt Isa copper and lead, zinc and silver orebodies, the Ernest Henry copper-gold deposit and the Selwyn region copper-gold-molybdenum deposits.
The Queensland Government has dedicated $14.8 million as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery plan, to enable CopperString 2.0 to prepare for construction to begin in 2021.
The project will deliver a 1100 kilometre high-voltage transmission line, which will be Australia’s largest ever geographical expansion of the National Electricity Market.
“The Queensland Government has demonstrated an inspiring vision for North and North West Queensland powered by a strategic transmission investment and the country’s best renewable energy zone,” CopperString 2.0 director Joseph O’Brien said.
“(This) is a critical step forward in creating jobs and prosperity for our region and ensuring the world has a secure supply of clean minerals needed for the modern global economy.”