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Latest News

Glencore has invested more than $24 million in a train fleet to transport products for its Queensland copper and zinc operations.

The fleet came online last month, with Australian logistics company QUBE operating the trains on behalf of the mining giant.

It’s the first time the business has owned its own rolling stock, which includes 108 bulk wagons (GOAF) and 80 intermodal wagons (GQCY).

It has also leased six GT22 (PRL) locomotives and one GT38 (PRA) locomotive.

Ore from Queensland Metals’ mines and third parties is processed at concentrating and smelting operations in Mount Isa to produce copper anode, lead bullion and zinc concentrates.

The new rolling stock will transport the products to Townsville for further refinement, and export to domestic and international markets.

Queensland Metals also transports cement, coking coal, grinding media and electrolyte along the line each year.

Queensland Metals supply manager Huw Werrett said securing the rolling stock would allow greater control around the movement of the business’s mineral and metal products by rail.

“Continuing to transport product by rail also has a range of benefits for the business and community,” he said.

“We are committed to moving our product by rail rather than road which promotes safety and environmental sustainability.”

“It’s also the most efficient and cost effective option over the long distance from Mount Isa to Townsville.”

Rolling stock maintenance will be carried out by Progress Rail (locomotives) and Wulguru Rail Maintenance (wagons).

The Mount Isa Line is over 1,000 kilometres of track which extends from Stuart (near Townsville) to Mount Isa and includes the Phosphate Hill branch.

Product from Mount Isa Mines has been transported along the rail line since 1929, after it took three years to construct the final section of the line between Cloncurry and Mount Isa.

Red River Resources has reported intercepts of greater than 20 per cent zinc equivalent in drilling at Liontown, the site of the next planned mine in its Thalanga operation in North Queensland.

Mining at Liontown is expected to begin in 2022 and will involve an open pit/underground development with a conceptual mine life of more than 10 years.

Red River said its latest drilling increased the confidence in the site’s Gap lode mineral resource and was investigating the potential of oxide gold mineralisation above it.

Sulphide Gap lode intercepts included 1m at 20.2 per cent zinc equivalent from 122m and 6m at 11.1 per cent zinc equivalent from 105m. The company reported a significant oxide intercept of 2m at 7.5g/t gold from 11m.

The Gap Lode currently contains an inferred sulphide mineral resource of 403,000 tonnes at 1.7 per cent copper, 0.8 per cent lead, 1.9 per cent zinc, 3.5 g/t gold and 12g/t silver for 15.3 per cent zinc equivalent. No oxide material from the Gap lode is currently classified as a resource.

The total Liontown project mineral resource consists of 4.1Mt at 0.6 per cent copper, 1.9 per cent lead, 5.9 per cent zinc, 1.1 g/t gold and 29 g/t silver (12.7 per cent zinc equivalent) and a shallow oxide gold resource of 113,000 tonnes grading 1.9g/t gold and 24 g/t silver.

In a recent company update Red River Resources reported that it had submitted the Environmental Authority for the Liontown project.

The project is located about 32km in a direct line from the main Thalanga operations, about 65km south-west of Charters Towers, where Red River restarted mining and processing operations in 2017.

Drilling delivers at Red River’s Liontown project
Ports North has released its first sustainability strategy, based on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals but with a Far North Queensland flavour.

The strategy outlines a path for the organisation to continue supporting environmental stewardship, community partnerships and economic prosperity throughout Far North Queensland.

“Operating at the intersection of two World Heritage-listed sites like the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, protection of the environment and cultural heritage has long been paramount for our ports,” Ports North chief executive officer Chris Boland said.

“I’m immensely proud that our inaugural Sustainability Strategy recognises our existing achievements, while incorporating ideas and feedback from more than 100 port customers, employees, local industry representatives and community members to determine future priorities.

“Just as our stunning Far North Queensland region is unique, Ports North is unique among many other port authorities, too.”

Ports North said the strategy built on flagship projects such as the Cairns Shipping Development Project and Cairns CityPORT and leading practice environmental monitoring.

It establishes goals and sets actions across four key sustainability pillars of people, planet, partnerships and prosperity.

The organisation used the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to guide its strategy, flagging actions across climate, water, waste, energy, technology, infrastructure and development, among other areas.

Ports North operates nine ports in Far North Queensland including Port of Cairns, Port of Mourilyan and Port of Karumba.

Property developers Chris Morris and Errol Stewart have joined forces to secure the South Yards Precinct site in Townsville in a $18.15million deal.

The 17ha site on the CBD fringe is earmarked for a community precinct, with zoning in place for a mixed-use development featuring commercial uses including convenience shops and specialty retailing, small scale office uses, professional services, and residential uses.

Colliers Townsville managing director Peter Wheeler said this was a reminder that Townsville was very much on the map.

“Investors can see that exciting things are happening in North Queensland and they have confidence in the future of our region,” he said.

The property was purchased through a joint venture between Morris Group, owners of The Ville Resort-Casino, and Launceston developer Errol Stewart.

This is an additional major investment in the region from Morris Group, who recently broke ground on the development of a five-star, $80 million hotel complex at the Breakwater precinct immediately adjoining The Ville Resort Casino.

“We look forward to working with the Townsville community and further expand on the City’s tourism and hospitality facilities,” Mr Morris said.

Co-agents Colliers Townsville and Burgess Rawson successfully sold the property on behalf of Honeycombes Property Group.

Honeycombes had acquired the site in late 2017 with the intention of a master planned development, however their current development interests in South-east Queensland led them to market the site to realise their capital for injection into those projects.

A multi-million-dollar project to build common user infrastructure at Port of Bundaberg is a step closer, with the detailed plans complete and tenders open.

The new infrastructure will open the way for the Wide Bay region to increase exports of bulk commodities including minerals, timber products (wood pellets and woodchip) and agricultural products such as grains and pulses.

It stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) and Sugar Terminals Limited (STL) signed in 2019 to expand on existing cargo handling capabilities.

Port of Bundaberg manager Jason Pascoe said GPC and STL were now on the hunt for bids from local businesses before tenders closed on January 21.

“It’s a really exciting time at the Port of Bundaberg,” Mr Pascoe said.

“The plans are now complete and we’re looking to engage local businesses to participate in formal tender processes for the supply, fabrication, installation and commissioning of a new common user system at the Port of Bundaberg.”

GPC acting chief executive officer Paul Heagney said the detailed plans signalled a major milestone for the project.

“We’ve been working around-the-clock with STL on this project and to now go to market with a detailed design is a great achievement,” Mr Heagney said.

“The project is in conjunction with our strategic planning work to promote the Port of Bundaberg and surrounding State Development Area and we’re excited to see the project stimulate industry growth for the region.”

STL chief executive officer David Quinn said the project, following final approvals, would generate significant employment opportunities for the region and attract new commodities to the port.

“The new infrastructure will have the capacity to provide customers with competitive loading rates and pricing. This will allow the region to develop projects with certainty on costs and Port availability,” Mr Quinn said.

“The project has been designed to complement our existing sugar handling operations which will minimise costs for all customers.”

More information on the tender opportunity visit and search CUI.

A golden clip has marked the completion of a $49 million project to replace sleepers on the Townsville-Mount Isa rail line, with 41km of track upgrades now complete.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said crews had been working on the last sections of track between Hughenden and Julia Creek over the past eight months.

“In an impressive feat, the team has replaced almost 66,500 steel sleepers with new concrete sleepers, which significantly improves the resilience of this important freight route,” he said.

“In collaboration with Townsville-based contractor Lyons Machine Hire, the taskforce of 60 workers also delivered a brand-new bed of ballast for the sleepers to lay on, to further bolster track reliability.

“Given the land beneath this section of track is mostly black soil plains, these concrete sleepers will provide a heavier track structure, delivering a more reliable network for freight and passenger services.”

Mr Bailey said crews used water trucks to keep the track cool and prevent buckles throughout the project.

“It’s an outstanding effort by all involved, and I’m pleased to see this phase of works now complete, as part of Queensland Rail’s ongoing $344 million investment in the line over the next five financial years,” he said.

“This project marks the halfway mark of Queensland Rail’s wider mission to eliminate steel sleepers on the Mount Isa line which has been ongoing since 2016.

“All steel sleepers between Townsville and Cloncurry have been replaced with concrete sleepers.

“Crews will now turn their focus to upgrading the remaining Cloncurry to Mount Isa section of the line.”

Mr Bailey said further Mount Isa line upgrades would commence in the coming months.

“The Mount Isa line runs along some of the world’s largest deposits of copper, lead, zinc, silver and phosphate rock. The Queensland Government is committed to supporting supply chains and investing in the line to ensure continued safety, reliability, and uptake in rail freight.”