QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Premier’s speech to the nation’s energy ministers at the Smart Energy Council today highlighted the importance of the State’s minerals to new sources of energy and technologies.
“We need a diverse energy mix and Queensland has the potential or as the Premier said an estimated half a trillion dollars in new economy minerals in the North West which are needed for renewable energy infrastructure and technologies,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Solar panels, electric cars and batteries for large scale energy storage are manufactured from mining the minerals found in the North West – graphite, vanadium, copper, cobalt and zinc.
“There is a clear national and State priority for developing the North West Minerals Province. Last year I took part in a Federal Government led trip to the United States, along with staff from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, to commit Australia to developing and supplying critical minerals used in defence systems.
At the same time the QRC participated in the Queensland Government’s summit in the North West Minerals Province and supported its $13.8 million package for exploration and development of new economy minerals.
“Queensland has worked hard to become the energy superpower on the East Coast through its young coal fired-power plants, a collaborative approach to domestic gas supply and renewable energy.
“Queensland can thank the coal seam gas industry for investing more than a billion dollars in upgrading the transmission infrastructure in the South West of the State which enabled a whole second wave of renewable investment to follow behind the gas industry.”
Mr Macfarlane also welcomed Premier Palaszczuk’s announcement to build Australia’s largest solar farm near Chinchilla, creating up to 400 jobs and 400 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy – a project supported by the publicly-owned CleanCo generator.
“But we must not get complacent and jeopardise future jobs at a time like now. Many of these new economy minerals and gas reserves lie in the Lake Eyre Basin and any proposed changes to the regulatory framework governing these areas must allow for new opportunities for well-regulated mineral and gas developments,” he said.