The Queensland Government has declared the recovery of the 29Metals’ Capricorn Copper mine a critical infrastructure project, aiming to bring the mine back to full operations and investigating the possibility for producing more critical minerals, such as cobalt. 

The Queensland Government has said it will assist the Capricorn Copper mine to return to full operations and ensure the long-term security of the copper mine after it was affected by rainfall and flooding earlier in 2023.

The declaration was made by the Queensland Deputy-Premier on the recommendation of the Coordinator-General, and is set to provide certainty around timeframes and allow the State Government to offer help and ensure there are no unreasonable delays to the delivery of the project.

Located approximately 120km north of Mount Isa in North West Queensland, the Capricorn Copper mine creates up to 400 full-time jobs when fully operational.

The global demand for critical minerals is rapidly increasing given their key role in the development of renewable energy technology. Queensland’s North-West Minerals Province is considered one of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions.

Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, said the State Government wants Queensland to be at the forefront for renewable energy on all fronts, from mining resources and critical minerals to manufacturing the technology, as well as using, and distributing energy stored.

“Encouraging private sector investment and supporting the development of critical mining projects, like Capricorn Copper, will ensure our regional communities can capitalise on the renewable energy opportunity too,” Mr Miles said. 

“This project will be vital in boosting the local economy in Mount Isa, generating up to 400 jobs when fully operational.

“The Queensland Government knows clean energy can create more jobs and unlock new economic opportunities for our state.

“We will continue to invest in projects that will help drive a global green energy transition, and position Queensland as a global leader in this space.”

29Metals’ Managing Director and CEO, Peter Albert, said that the company is very happy for the Capricorn Copper Recovery and Extension Project to be declared a prescribed project. 

“Operations at the mine have been significantly affected by rainfall and flooding across the region earlier this year,” Mr Albert said. 

“These declarations will help us restore the mine to full operations and enable us to implement significant improvements to secure its long-term sustainable future.”

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