Queensland’s silica sand meeting world-wide demand

Minister for Resources The Honourable Scott Stewart

A Far North silica sand mine at Cape Flattery is leading the way when it comes to indigenous employment.

Speaking today from Cape Flattery Silica Mines, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the business is a quiet achiever, providing local jobs together with a leading Indigenous employee program.

“The mine has been operating since 1967 and employs about 100 people with 40 per cent identified as Indigenous employees,” Mr Stewart said.

“Businesses such as CFSM that fosters diversity and sustainability continue to play a vital role in Queensland’s economic recovery.”

“Cape Flattery Silica Mines exports an impressive 3 million plus tonnes per annum of high quality silica sand.

“Silica sand is the primary raw material used in making glass products, and demand for high quality silica has been soaring for the production of ultra-clear glass for high-tech applications such as solar panels, smart phones, fibre-optics, TV flat screens and LED lights.”

Cape Flattery Silica Mines has one of the highest production volumes of silica sand of any mine in the world, meeting increasing global demands for high-purity silica sand used for high-tech manufacturing and renewables.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said as Queensland continues to recover and strengthen its economy during the COVID pandemic, big companies can have a vital role to play.

“It’s wonderful to see CFSM engaging with the community, employing local people and helping generate economic stimulus,” Mr Crawford said.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said it was great to see a major mining company helping create jobs for the community in the Far North.

“It was good to visit Cape Flattery Silica Mines and see the opportunities the company is creating for Indigenous people in the region,” she said.

“We know many people have done it tough during the COVID-19 global pandemic but the resources sector has continued to support our economy.”

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the QRC and its member companies will continue to work with the State Government to create more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to join the resources sector workforce, and for more Indigenous-owned companies to supply the sector.

“2020 was a year of great progress for Queensland’s resources sector in the area of Indigenous employment,” he said.

“We are particularly pleased to see the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in resources rise to 4.8 percent, which is over and above the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Queensland population.”

Mr Stewart said the mine demonstrates a clear and strong focus on sustainable resource development and rehabilitation.

“After extracting silica sand, native seeds are sowed into the soil to return the site to a scene of greenery, complete with trees and other natural vegetation.” Mr Stewart said.

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