Global miner MMG Limited have announced plans for a clean energy and jobs corridor, connecting the people and communities of Mount Isa to the national electricity grid near Townsville, with the 1000-kilometre high-voltage transmission network, CopperString 2.0 at its heart.
CuString managing director Joseph O'Brien said MMG Limited, which owns the Dugald River mine in the North West Minerals Province, about 65 kilometres north-east of Cloncurry, is one of the top 10 zinc operations in the world.
Supporting around 500 jobs, it was an important part of the Townsville to Mount Isa export supply chain.
"MMG Limited's commitment to North Queensland is long-standing and their announcement today to support the construction of a 44MW solar farm in Mount Isa is very positive and provides momentum behind the CopperString connection between the North West Minerals Province and the national electricity grid," Mr O'Brien said.
"One of the most important economic and environmental opportunities for Australia is to decarbonise the Townsville to Mount Isa minerals export supply as these critical minerals are essential for the world's transition to net zero.
"Today's announcement by MMG and APA Group is a positive one, and CopperString will continue to work with them along with the state and federal government and other major energy users and generators to grow and decarbonise the northern Queensland economy."
Mr O'Brien said Dugald River was developing a globally significant reserve of zinc, which would be essential for advanced manufacturing, and the development and deployment of renewable energy and battery technologies.
"By harnessing renewable energy for its own operations at Dugald River, MGG will help power Australia's net zero goals," he said.
"As a foundation customer of CopperString, we look forward to the opportunity to provide MMG with affordable and reliable electricity and a connection to the National Energy Market."
Mr O'Brien said MMG were to be commended for contributing to the shared ambitions of the state and federal governments in encouraging the generation of more renewable electricity.
MMG confirmed that the CopperString2.0 project - which has the potential to deliver baseload, grid-connected energy alternatives to residents and businesses in the region - would enable further emission reductions, cost savings and growth initiatives.
Dugald River Mine general manager Tim Akroyd said he looked forward to continuing to support CopperString2.0 as a baseload energy alternative.
"We believe the addition of renewable energy now will also be complimentary to grid connection through CopperString2.0," he said.
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