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The commodities demand forecast in a new report meant a decade of growth for resource hubs like Townsville, Mackay, Mount Isa, Moranbah, Toowoomba, and Gladstone, the Queensland Resources Council said.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Commodity Demand Outlook 2030 report released by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) showed increased demand for key Queensland commodities out to 2030.

“Our Asian Pacific neighbours are rapidly modernising their economies and they need Queensland’s commodities to build their futures,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“If Queensland was a country, we would be the world’s top exporter of metallurgical coal.

“We produced 88 percent of Australia’s metallurgical coal and supplied 52 percent of the world trade in 2020, which gives you some idea of the significance of a bright export outlook for the next decade.

“Queensland is also a mineral powerhouse for Australia, accounting for 65 percent of silver produced, 60 percent of lead, 56 percent of zinc and a quarter of the copper produced in 2020.” 

Some of the forecasts from the report include:

  • Metallurgical coal: Seaborne metallurgical coal to make new steel will rise 24 per cent;
  • Thermal coal: Demand for imported coal in our region will increase 23.5 per cent;
  • Zinc: World zinc consumption to grow by 12 per cent;
  • Copper: Global consumption of copper has doubled every 25-30 years and this demand will accelerate with the electrification of the global economy;
  • Aluminium: Primary aluminium demand to rise sharply by 45.5 per cent from 65.1 Mt in 2019 to 94.7 Mt;
  • Rare earth elements: Global demand has already grown by 327 per cent since 2010 as these 15 elements become used more widely in modern electronics.

Mr Macfarlane said the report would give Queensland resources companies and communities a well-needed boost of confidence in their future.

“The bottom line is our resources sector has a bright future because it’s underpinned by growing global demand for our commodities,” he said.

“Queenslanders know that when the outlook for resources is bright, our resource regions also flourish.”

“The report forecast a decade of growth for resource hubs like Townsville, Mackay, Mount Isa, Moranbah, Toowoomba, Gladstone and just about everywhere in between.”