The Queensland Government has made a $15 million offer of support for rebricking of Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines copper smelter.
Acting Premier Curtis Pitt said the joint-funding proposal was a way of underpinning the north-west region’s economy to keep local workers on the tools.
“The offer of a $15 million grant is about working with a crucial copper and zinc business in Mount Isa which employs 4000 people and indirectly supports thousands more jobs in the regional economy,” Pitt said.
“It will also provide significant stimulus to the local economy. This support is designed to incentivise Mount Isa Mines’ further investments in the North West region.”
The grant depends on Mount Isa Mines’ commitment to maintain third-party access to the smelter and will be paid through the state’s $170 million jobs and regional growth fund, which was unveiled earlier this month, Pitt added.
Rebricking of the smelter will extend its useful life by re-lining critical components including the anode and rotary holding furnaces.
Several other local businesses are also expected to benefit from the extension of the smelter’s operating life, including Incitec Pivot’s Phosphate Hill operation, which relies partially on the sulphuric acid produced as a by-product from the smelter.