Queensland Prime Minister Annastasia Palashchuk said her state’s mining industry will continue to receive investment and support despite Australia’s commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The global decarbonization ambition, which was recently the focus of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, does not mean a zero-sum game for the mining industry in resource-rich Queensland, the Premier said at a Queensland Resource Council meeting on Wednesday, News.com. au reported.
“I am sure that our best days are still ahead,” said Palashchuk.
“The resource sector will continue to grow and support more jobs in Queensland.
“The global commitment at COP26 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is not a zero-sum game between climate action and mining jobs.
“This clean-zero commitment will make the Queensland resource sector even stronger in the long term,” she said.
The prime minister said Queensland has the minerals the world needs to create green energy technologies like vanadium and cobalt to make batteries.
Palashuk also spoke about the need to extract resources from the ground, stating that there is a lot of wind and sun in the state.
“As a key raw material for steelmaking, Queensland’s metallurgical coal will continue to support the construction of wind turbines around the world.
“The Queensland Resource Sector has a critical role to play in ensuring an affordable and sustainable supply of renewable energy.”
Amid global efforts to switch to clean energy, Palaschuk announced that the Queensland government has approved the development of the Saint Elmo vanadium mine near Julia Creek in the central northwest of the state.
“I don’t just want to see the vanadium mining in Queensland. I also want to see onshore processing and vanadium battery production.
“I want Queensland’s minerals to be used in renewable batteries across the country and around the world.
“To further support battery manufacturing in Queensland, my government will develop a Queensland Battery Manufacturing Strategy.”
The state treasury said that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, mining accounted for about 12 percent of Queensland’s economy in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
The state’s coal and bauxite reserves are among the largest in the world and are in international demand for their high quality.
In addition, LNG and minerals accounted for about 81 percent of Queensland’s nominal value of overseas merchandise exports in the fiscal year prior to the pandemic.
The prime minister’s announcement was made as her state is forecast to decline 11 percent in overseas exports in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, before it is expected to rise just over 9 percent next year.