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News

The State Government has stepped in after a $1.2 billion tourism development proposal for Hummock Hill Island in central Queensland was knocked back by the Gladstone Regional Council.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said he had approved the move following a request by proponent Eaton Place for the Coordinator-General to use his legislative step-in powers.

It comes after the local council’s rejection of the development application in May and an appeal by the proponent to the Planning and Environment Court. 

“In the Planning and Environment Court, the Gladstone Regional Council and the proponent, Eaton Place, could be arguing for three to four years,” Mr Dick said.

“That adds a lot of cost, time and uncertainty to both parties and to the ratepayers of Gladstone.

“Using step-in powers a new decision should be concluded in a matter of months.”

The proposal is for an integrated, master-planned resort on Hummock Hill Island in Rodds Bay, 30km south-east of Gladstone.

Plans include resort hotels, holiday units and camping grounds for about 2800 people, and potential permanent housing for up to 1200 people, with education and village precincts, boat ramps, beach access, an 18-hole golf course, retail outlets and a bridge to the mainland.

If approved, the project is expected to generate an average of 190 jobs a year on the island over the 17-year construction period and deliver 700 direct tourism and related industry jobs when fully developed.

Second chance for tourism proposal
Pembroke Resources has lodged its mining lease application and this week reached an agreement with traditional owners as it drives the $1 billion Olive Downs Coking Coal Project towards production.

Pembroke Resources chief executive officer and managing director Barry Tudor said tenders were already out for early works for the project including haul roads, development of the rail loop and spur from the Norwich Park line, water pipeline extension, electricity provision, and construction of the coal washplant and related mine-site infrastructure.

“We’re spending a significant amount of money in areas we can so that when the mining lease is granted we can hit the ground running,” Mr Tudor said.

The project is fully funded and Mr Tudor expected to be well advanced in awarding tenders by the fourth quarter of the year.

Allowing about 12 months for the approvals process and a further year for construction, he expects to be in production at the Moranbah mining complex lease in the first half of 2020.

The complex is expected to begin its life with an output of about 4.5 Mtpa product coal (6Mtpa ROM) and will ramp up to 15Mtpa product coal (about 20Mtpa ROM).

Pembroke Resources expects construction to generate 500-700 jobs and the ongoing operation will employ about 1000 people at full capacity.

Mining will start in the Olive Downs South deposit and advance to Willunga.

The Indigenous Land Use Agreement was executed with the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation on Wednesday.

Tenders out as $1b coal project advances



A mining sector resurgence has helped swell the ranks of stands for this year’s Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition.

QME 2018 will feature 35 per cent more exhibitors than in 2016, with more than 200 companies confirmed for the Mackay Showgrounds event, July 24–26.

In a new development, resource sector heavyweights BHP, Anglo America, Adani and Yancoal will be coming together for a mining pavilion, says Reed Mining Events director Brandon Ward.

“That’s quite a big win for us as an event,” Mr Ward said. “These major mining houses value QME and want to be a more integral part of what we are doing rather than just coming down for the day.”

QME has been running in Mackay for 25 years and the 2018 exhibition will be the 13th such event.

Mr Ward said Mackay was a natural location given the city’s place as a gateway to key mining regions and its role as a premier service hub for the industry.

“There’s a huge amount of businesses that operate out of Mackay that service the mining industry across Queensland and central Queensland, in particular,” he said.

“It makes absolute sense for the event to be placed there. The majority of exhibitors, whether national or local, tend to have an office or factory in the greater Mackay region.”

Major QME sponsor Hastings Deering is a prime example, supplying Caterpillar equipment, parts and services to customers across the Bowen Basin.

Central Queensland area manager Daniel Viero explained the importance of QME to Hastings Deering and the region: “It’s no cliché, but given the cyclical nature of the industry it is important we stand shoulder to shoulder to always deliver on the best outcomes for the industry and for the people working within it. The resources Industry is critical to Mackay and the region and the market we work within.”

In addition to showcasing products and services, QME includes a seminar program.

Mr Ward said one major topic to emerge from surveys on participant interest was the application of renewable energy technologies in mining.

“Interestingly renewables in mining came out as No. 2 after maintenance - and that’s the first time we have seen that topic appear,” he said.

“That is basically mining companies looking at how can they be more sustainable and reduce their energy costs.”

QME 2018 will also feature a Business Matching Program, which offers attendees a personalised itinerary of products and companies matched to their areas of interest, and the Bowen Basin Mining Club will host the 2018 Queensland Mining Awards in partnership with Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Strong showing for QME 2018 in July
The mining, resources and energy sector is leading the pack for job ads growth, according to SEEK’s latest employment report.

Its data also shows a rise in the number of permanent positions on offer compared to contract roles.

The recruitment business said mining, resources and energy job ads grew by 34 per cent last month compared to May of last year.

Job ads in general grew by 10.7 per cent over the same period.

Government and Defence job ads grew by 29 per cent in the 12-month period, while community service and development job ads increased by 26 per cent.

SEEK said the 34 per cent increase in mining, resources and energy job ads built on an increase in job ads in that sector since 2016, when the industry began to recover after four years of decline.

Mining is the third largest contributor to the Australian economy, behind services and construction and employs about 226,500 people, according to ABS trend data.

During the mining downturn between 2012 and 2016, alongside the loss of 55,000 jobs, there was a reluctance to hire permanent staff in the mining sector, however SEEK data shows that this trend is reversing.

Since mid-2016, the number of permanent job ads SEEK recorded in the sector compared to contract positions has been increasing, suggesting renewed confidence in the sector.

More mining jobs, more permanent roles
Minotaur Exploration says assay results have proven the presence of a copper-gold mineralised structure more than 3km long at its Eloise joint-venture project, 55km south-east of Cloncurry.

The results came from drilling along the Jericho ‘J1’ corridor at the project and have prompted the JV partners to extend the drilling program at that target by 1700m.

“The new assays reinforce the 2017 inaugural results and support the joint venture’s view that Jericho is an expansive copper-gold system with potential to host an orebody similar to the nearby Eloise mine,” Minotaur managing director Andrew Woskett said.

The present 5000m drilling campaign is nearing completion in other areas of the Jericho structure.

The Eloise project is a joint venture between Minotaur and OZ Minerals.

OZ Minerals, having completed its $5 million Stage 1 earn-in, now has 51 per cent beneficial interest in the tenements. Work  under way forms part of the Stage 2 earn-in where OZ Minerals may earn additional 19 per cent equity by spending an additional $5 million.

Strong copper-gold show at Eloise
Nominations have opened for the 2018 Gladstone Engineering Alliance Industry Awards.

The GEA Industry Awards are presented to individuals and businesses in the central Queensland industrial and construction sector who demonstrate quality, leadership, innovation and exceptional customer service in their work.

GEA chief executive officer Carli Homann said the awards were designed to celebrate the success of the central Queensland supply chain.

“GEA started the awards in 2011 to showcase and celebrate the exceptional quality of the local businesses that make up the industrial supply chain across central Queensland,” Ms Homann said.

“Our local businesses have coordinated the delivery of word class industrial projects and we want to promote the capabilities of these businesses and their leaders to keep this momentum of success going.”

The awards feature three categories: the Forty Calis Memorial Award, the Wayne Peachey Memorial Award and the Industry Hall of Fame.

“Most years the GEA receive a really broad group of nominations that represent the diversity of central Queensland’s supply chain and we expect the same again this year as many Gladstone businesses in 2018 have diversified their services in line with the ever changing resource industry,” Ms Homann said.

The awards will be presented at the annual GEA Gala Dinner on Thursday October 11, following the GEA Major Industry Conference, presented by Aestec Services.

For more information or to nominate, click here.

GEA seeks awards contenders