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Connecting the North West Minerals Province to the east coast electricity grid is forecast to generate an extra $132 billion in mining activity by 2050, new economic analysis has found.

That’s almost 30 times the forecast benefit for Queensland from the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The ACIL Allen analysis was commissioned as part of the advanced planning for the CopperString 2.0 project, a 1000-km high-voltage transmission network.

Proponent CuString and regional partners are already engaging local businesses to support an estimated $1.8 billion construction contract, according to CuString managing director Joseph O’Brien.

He said CopperString 2.0 was a nation-building project that would ensure the North West Minerals Province and the entire region west of Townsville would no longer be isolated from the national transmission grid.  

Based on CopperString’s industry consultant’s production forecasts,  ACIL Allen found mining revenues would increase by $132 billion if the region was connected to the NEM compared to the business-as-usual approach of persisting with an isolated electricity supply system, he said.

“We are all looking forward to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and a record medal haul for Australia,” Mr O’Brien said. 

“The North West Minerals Province will deliver a record metal haul and economic windfall for Australia if we give those businesses access to the national grid.”

Mr O’Brien said the estimated value of known reserves of minerals, including copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, silver and gold, so essential for global efforts for decarbonisation was about $740 billion. 

“The Queensland and Australian Governments are both working closely with CuString on the project, and they are both committed to developing our critical mineral reserves for the global demand being driven by decarbonisation efforts and geopolitical supply chain risks,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said the analysis also found the CopperString 2.0 connection between the North West Minerals Province and the NEM would generate 800 construction jobs and sustain 3561 jobs in the North West on average out to 2050.

It was also expected to reduce electricity costs in the NWMP on average by 40 per cent.

CopperString metal haul to outshine Olympic income