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News

New Century Resources has awarded a $110 million long-term services contract to Sedgman for the operation and maintenance of the Century processing plant, pipeline and port facilities.

Sedgman is already involved in the restart of operations at the Century zinc mine in Queensland's lower gulf region, with about 100 Sedgman staff and subcontractors on site to refurbish and commission plant and port facilities.

In November 2017 Sedgman provided the Restart Feasibility Study for the Century mine and subsequently commenced engineering, procurement and operational readiness activities.

New Century Resources says the restart program is on track for operations to begin in the third quarter of 2018, targeting first production in August 2018.

“We have been working with New Century Resources at the Century Mine since 2017, first on the feasibility study and then on refurbishment and reconfiguration," Sedgman managing director Grant Fraser said.

"I’m pleased that we are building on this earlier involvement, and showcasing our full project life cycle delivery capability, by adding operation and maintenance services to our works at the site.”

The operations and maintenance contract is for an initial period of five years, with an option to extend at New Century’s election.

Sedgman wins $110m Century contract
New owners Copper Mountain Mining Corporation are pouring $5 million into exploration at their Cloncurry copper project, 95km north-east of Mount Isa.

Copper Mountain took control of the project when it completed acquisition of Altona Mining last month.

It said planned work programs would include follow-up drilling on discoveries made in 2017, testing of new targets and supporting works to further the full feasibility study under way for the proposed Eva Copper Mine.

Copper Mountain’s flagship asset is the Copper Mountain mine located in southern British Columbia, Canada.

The Altona acquisition included the permitted Eva copper development project and a 397,000ha  exploration tenement portfolio in the North West Minerals Province.

New owners pour $5m into Cloncurry project
The Queensland Government has declared a priority development area on 170ha within the Mackay CBD, paving the way for a raft  of revitalisation projects.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the Mackay Waterfront PDA declaration would enable Mackay Regional Council to pursue its plan to transform the city’s waterfronts and CBD.

“This declaration will be a catalyst to stimulate the Mackay region’s economy, create jobs, increase investor confidence, and deliver more community infrastructure and public facilities,” Mr Dick said.

“Mackay Regional Council is to be congratulated on the way it has approached this important city-shaping project, particularly the way it has engaged with its ratepayers and brought the community along on this journey."

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the PDA declaration was wonderful news for the city.
“I am very happy that the State Government has been so responsive to the council’s calls for this PDA,” Cr Williamson said.

“It spans about 172ha including the southern side of the Pioneer River, the CBD, and water frontage along Binnington Esplanade (Town Beach), and consists of five distinct precincts – Mackay City Centre, Riverside, Enterprise, Queens Park and Beachside.

“Each precinct offers unique attributes and redevelopment opportunities specific to their location and will be redeveloped progressively.”

The community played a significant role in designing the various precincts within the PDA and will have a further opportunity to comment once the proposed development scheme is publicly notified in late-2018.

The PDA takes effect from Friday, May 25.

Declaration paves way for Mackay makeover
Neoen’s planned green power hub at Kaban, 80km south-west of Cairns, has received State development approval.

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the $300 million wind farm project would bring substantial investment to the region and was expected to create around 150 jobs during construction.

“The proposed development at Kaban is for a wind farm for up to 29 turbines and additional infrastructure, including a substation and battery storage facility,” Mr Dick said.

“This means jobs for the region over the 12-month estimated construction period and more clean energy for the region to tap into.

“The green power hub, which will incorporate the wind farm, is a $300 million project, planned to operate for at least 30 years and generate enough power to supply 57,000 homes.”

Total generation capacity is expected to be up to 160MW.

Mr Dick said the turbines would have a maximum height of 240m.

“Neoen worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts on nearby houses, impacts on fauna, native vegetation clearing and traffic impacts,” he said.

The Kaban hub is among more than two dozen large-scale renewable energy projects currently committed or under construction throughout Queensland, including the recently announced $200 million Lakeland wind farm.

Green light for $300m FNQ wind farm


Coal will cover Queensland's planned infrastructure spending boost, with record coal royalties of $3.7 billion forecast this financial year, says the Queensland Resources Council.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the latest projection of $3.7 billion - a $536 million increase on the State Government’s pre-Christmas estimate – would allow the government to increase infrastructure spending by $1.4 billion to $11.5 billion in 2018-19, and a total of $45 billion in infrastructure over four years.

"Projects like Convention Centre expansion in Cairns, the North Queensland Stadium in Townsville, the M1 in south-east Queensland will be built and funded by coal,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Mr Macfarlane said the increased projection was due to the strong international demand for metallurgical coal and the stable prices for both metallurgical and thermal coal from Queensland.

“This result would make 2017-18 a record 12 months for coal royalties in Queensland. The previous record was $3.4 billion in 2016-17,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad issued a joint press statement this week promising that the upcoming Budget would deliver $45 billion of infrastructure over the next four years.

“That’s a big number, with investment up $2 billion on last year’s Budget and almost five times what the Federal Government is investing in our state’s infrastructure," Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This massive spend will drive our economy, supporting 38,000 Queensland jobs every year."

In 2018–19 alone, the Queensland Government has undertaken to deliver a $11.5 billion capital program. This would be a $1.4 billion increase on the allocation for 2017-18.

Coal props up Budget infrastructure pledge
The Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railway Association, Ports Australia and Shipping Australia have joined together to call for clarification of how the biosecurity levy, announced by the Australian Government in the recent Federal Budget, will operate. 

The proposed Biosecurity Import Levy will charge $10.02 per incoming container and $1 per tonne of non-containerised cargo, generating an estimated revenue of $360 million.

Ports Australia chief executive Mike Gallacher said, “Our concern is that this import levy has been announced with almost no engagement with the supply chain and with no plan on how it will be used in the Biosecurity System.


“The complete lack of detail on this ambiguous proposal lends weight to the impression that it is a broad import levy across all goods coming into the country.

“The revenue measure estimates $360 million over three years. Only $76.6 million of this is will be spent enhancing Australia’s Biosecurity System over the same period."

He said the port sector had stringent biosecurity measures and would always continue to leverage its expert capabilities to meet the Australian Government’s objectives on biosecurity.

Shipping Australia chief executive Rod Nairn a budget that promised tax cuts for all Australians would simultaneously slug Australians almost $290 million to import the goods they used every day, with no clear explanation of the biosecurity benefit. 

 Australian Logistics Council managing director Michael Kilgariff, said, “Measures in the Budget are expected to be accurately costed. There should be no exception for this one.

“Until such details are made clear, a broad charge on every item imported from another country simply cannot be justified. The freight logistics sector should not be used as a ‘cash cow’ to fund unrelated Budget initiatives.

“Not only will everyday consumers be impacted by this measure on containerised goods, but anyone importing non-container goods will pay $1 a tonne.

“That means a construction business importing 50,000 tonnes of concrete will now have to pay an additional $50,000. Imagine the impact such a measure will have on infrastructure costs."

The Australasian Railway Association chief executive, Danny Broad, said, “The proposed levy is a significant issue for ARA members and every day Australians. The levy will ripple right through the supply chain and hit the end consumer. Every product that comes through our ports, onto our rail networks and delivered to the consumers will feel the effects of this levy."

Industry challenges biosecurity levy