New NQ fertiliser mine could have 200-year life

Almost 1,000 industrial resource-based jobs are a step closer for North Queensland after the Palaszczuk Government granted prescribed project status to a processing plant for a resources project near Townsville.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Agripower Australia Limited’s $663 million Fertiliser Expansion Project could create 490 jobs during construction and 470 ongoing operational jobs.

“Agripower’s amorphous silica is sourced from what is believed to be the world’s largest deposit of the mineral near Greenvale,” the Premier said.

“Agripower believes that a two billion tonne deposit could create a mine life of 200 years.”

The Premier said Agripower had recently completed construction of a processing facility near Charters Towers able to produce 240,000 tonne of fertiliser per year.

That facility is expected to become operational next month, with the first shipment of 5000 tonnes to be exported to Indian from the Port of Townsville in July.

“The completion of the processing facility is good news for Charters Towers and North Queensland,” the Premier said.

“But I am pleased to see Agripower planning for the future demand for this Queensland resource by looking to develop a $663 million processing facility near Yabulu.

“Each year, Agripower expects to produce one million tonnes of fertiliser from the new facility, to be exported to the world – and to do that with a project life of up to 200 years.

“This can mean local jobs for local skilled workers for generations to come.”

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said prescribed project status enables Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to assist the proponent to progress the project efficiently by ensuring timely approvals across all agencies.

He said the Office of the Coordinator-General would work with the proponent to identify and navigate the most efficient approvals pathway for the project.

The project is the latest in recent activity from the Palaszczuk Government which has also included:

  • Approval for the $1 billion Olive Downs Metallurgical Coal Mine, supporting 1500 jobs
  • Coordinated status for the $1 billion Winchester South Metallurgical Coal Mine, supporting 950 jobs
  • Approval of nine new mining leases for the Resolute Mine near Ravenswood, supporting 380 jobs

Since January 2015, 199,000 jobs have been created in Queensland.

More than 1000 jobs have been created in the Townsville region in the past year.

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