Queensland goes big in renewable resource investment

  • Jun 11, 2021
  • Australian Mining

The Queensland Government has pumped $2 billion into a Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund, in an effort to develop its economy while advancing environmental initiatives.

The Fund came as part of the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund, which has a range of resource recovery, manufacturing and industry development goals.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Fund would create jobs and pathways to a cleaner energy market.

“This $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund is all about more jobs and more industries,” she said.

“It will also support the further development of Queensland’s resources sector while at the same time helping to deliver on our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.”

One point of investment, outlined by the government, was supercharging its resources sector.

“An increased demand for cleaner energy will drive the expansion of our resources sector, including the north-west minerals province, providing the cobalt, copper, scandium, nickel, vanadium, bauxite and alumina needed for batteries, electric vehicles and solar panels,” the government announcement stated.

The International Energy Agency has forecast demand quadrupling for clean energy minerals by 2040.

In response to this forecast and to the Fund, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said an immense amount of opportunity was available to Queensland.

“Last year, Queensland produced 220,500 tonnes of copper – enough to make around 2.75 million electric vehicles – so the potential for this demand to grow by 400 per cent is an incredible opportunity for Queensland,” Macfarlane said.

“Queensland has world-class deposits of cobalt, copper, scandium, bauxite and vanadium, with opportunities emerging for other new economy minerals, so we are well placed to meet this future demand.”

Queensland Exploration Council chair Kim Wainwright outlined some projects which might benefit from the Fund specifically.

“Companies like Multicom and QEM are targeting vanadium in the Julia Creek area and will benefit from a common user demonstration processing plant,” Wainwright said.

“It’s great to see the Queensland Government supporting the resources sector, from exploration right through to manufacturing.”