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Lendlease Building has been appointed managing contractor for the $176 million Cairns Convention Centre upgrade.

The project is expected to support about 570 full-time jobs, with the first phase of convention centre works to commence soon, including lift upgrades.

A planned closure period at the convention centre from May to October next year will allow for roof replacement, air-conditioning and amenities upgrades, and general refurbishment work.

The State Government said Lendlease was selected after putting forward a strong case to leverage their economic value for the region through local jobs.

“Lendlease has a team based in Cairns with a very strong record of delivering major government projects and our deal with them contractually requires them to engage local tradies on the opportunities to tender for convention centre works packages,” Member for Cairns Michael Healy said.

“I’d urge local tradies to make the most of this significant opportunity because ticking the right boxes when tendering for this project will help when tendering for other government work.

“While the expansion alone will support up to 570 jobs over the lifetime of the project, the flow on benefits will be far reaching with additional direct and indirect employment opportunities long into the future through hospitality, logistics, security and maintenance.

“This $176 million investment will also attract some 20,000 additional visitors to the Tropical North, injecting up to another $50 million into the local economy annually.”

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the Queensland Government’s Best Practice Principles for government projects over $100 million would apply to the convention centre project. (More HERE)

“Lendlease Building Pty Limited will also evaluate trade package tenderers on workplace health and safety, the employment of apprentices and trainees, and their track record of paying employees fairly,” he said.

“Workers on major Queensland Government projects deserve the same pay, job security and safety conditions, no matter where they are working in our State.”

Local jobs pledge as contractor named for $176m Cairns project
A scoping study shows a strong case for the development of an open-cut gold mine at Mount Mackenzie in Central Queensland, Resources and Energy Group says.

The company was granted a mineral development licence last month for the entire Mount Mackenzie mineral resource and all land required for the project’s development.

Resources and Energy Group said today the scoping study identified a 300,000-tonnes-per-annum open-cut development with on-site gold plant as the best case to progress.

The project, about 150km north-west of Rockhampton, would cost about $13 million to bring online.

“The outcomes of the scoping study based on the recently optimised mineral resource for the Mount Mackenzie gold project indicate the potential for development of a low-cost and profitable project,” chief executive officer David Frances said.

“The study concludes that a mine lief of about four years with production of 45,000 oz gold would provide an attractive payback period of approximately 15 months based on an initial capital cost of approximately $13 million.

“The study has also identified a potential mining and process route which would enable recovery of a greater proportion of the primary mineral resources than presently contemplated.”

Mr Frances said the feasibility study for Mount Mackenzie and exploration potential in the immediate vicinity were company priorities.

Study highlights Mount Mackenzie gold mine potential
Gray’s Online has auctioned vehicles and equipment from CuDeco’s Rocklands mine near Cloncurry as receivers finalise a campaign seeking interest in the failed copper operator.

The items under the hammer in an auction ending at 7pm Queensland time December 4 included a swag of utes, as well as buses, a crane, a demountable building, a conveyor stacker, shipping containers, lighting towers, generators and pumps.

The items attracted about $500,000 in total.

“There’s been plenty of interest,” said Grays Online Queensland manager Andrew Cotton.

“There are a lot of local buyers and also buyers from all over the country and overseas.”

The big ticket items included a 2017 Yutong automatic bus (below), which has attracted bids exceeding $140,000, and the conveyor stacker, which has passed $31,000.

Administrators Cor Cordis this week said the Australian Securities and Investment Commission had granted deferral for lodging financial reports and an extension of time to hold CuDeco’s 2019 AGM, which is now due on May 31 2020. (Details HERE)

In an update to the stock exchange this week, CuDeco administrators Cor Cordis said the receiver/managers for CuDeco were currently completing a campaign to secure interest in the company and its assets by sale or recapitalisation.

The outcome of this was expected to be known by mid-December, if not earlier, it said.

Rocklands gear goes under the hammer
Sojitz Coal Mining is on track to produce about 900,000 tonnes of export coal from Gregory mine, near Emerald, by the end of March.

The company acquired the mothballed Gregory Crinum coking coal mine from BMA for $100 million and has brought it back online as Sojitz Gregory.

Sojitz Coal Mining managing director and chief executive officer Cameron Vorias said it had achieved its first two export shipments out of Gladstone over the past month.

“(The operation) is going fine. The washplant has come up quite nicely and we have the full complement of overburden and coal mining kit all in place. It’s just a matter of consolidating now,” he said.

While the drop in metallurgical coal prices was a concern, he said everything else was going to plan regarding the restart and ramp-up to full production.

Full steam ahead for Sojitz Gregory coal exports
Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan has ticked off approval for a $20 million loan for the North Queensland Cowboys to build a Community, Training and High Performance Centre in Townsville.

It comes after the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) Board last month made an Investment Decision to support the project and provided Senator Canavan a proposal notice, triggering the 21 day consideration period, as required by legislation.

The Cowboys are now proceeding with NAIF to finalise the project loan documents for signature with the Queensland Government, which must also provide agreement to the loan proceeding.

“The 8000sq m centre will be part of the new Cowboys precinct near the Townsville CBD and will provide high performance training facilities for the Cowboys, while the Townsville Fire, Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) team will also be able to fully access the centre. Access will be available for other clubs and touring sporting teams,” Senator Canavan said.

“The project is also expected to deliver more than 200 direct jobs during construction. Once operational the centre will support almost 60 direct jobs.”

As part of the multi-user facilities, James Cook University will host a sports science and research facility at the site boosting its diverse array of courses on offer. Medical sports consulting and rehabilitation services will also be provided at the centre while the Townsville City Council will have rights to the community field for general community purposes.

NQ Cowboys plan clears NAIF funding hurdle
Exploration investment has increased across all major commodities in Queensland for the second year in a row, a new report shows.

The Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) Scorecard for 2018/19 was released at the QEC breakfast this week (December 3).

“Coal exploration increased for only the second time since 2011-12 up by 25 per cent. Copper and gold exploration expenditure lifted 19 percent and petroleum exploration expenditure grew by 10 percent,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“The results underpin the growing optimism in the exploration industry with 58 percent of explorers planning to increase or significantly increase their exploration expenditure and 92 percent of drilling companies forecasting similar or increased spending over the next 12 months.

“Once again, the scorecard shows that Queensland is in prime position to benefit from our state’s rich mineral prospectivity.

“That investment has significant potential to grow. Queensland will be at the forefront of the development of the expanding critical minerals industry.”

QEC is the exploration arm of the QRC and its chair, Kim Wainwright, said a strong building block out of this year’s report was the close relationship that has been developed with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

“Explorers’ rapport with the Queensland Department reached an all-time high. For the first time in the Scorecard’s nine-year history, explorers were positive about departmental assistance. This is an important relationship, and we hope it continues to grow,” she said.

Mr Macfarlane said the Scorecard also sounded a note of caution about access to capital, social licence to operate and policy uncertainty which was sitting at negative 36 points.

“If we are to attract new investment and create new jobs we need a clear and stable policy environment in which it to operate,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“This includes a clear, consistent approval framework and timetable, as well as potential for new exploration and new projects. Despite our rich prospectivity, Queensland cannot take future investment for granted.

“These will be key issues for Queensland in the election year 2020.”

Full report HERE

Positive outlook for Queensland exploration