Mount Isa, Australia – A “SUPER pit” and revamped royalty scheme could be the key to preventing the mining boom from turning to bust in the state’s northwest. Mount Isa, the engine room of Queensland’s economy for 50 years, has had its setbacks over the decade due to poor mineral prices, but community leaders and residents are confident the ¬rivers of gold can flow again.
Straight-shooting local MP Robbie Katter said greater government incentives were needed, not just meaningless words filled with empty promises that have dogged the north for too long.
Pointing to a diagram drawn on his whiteboard at his Mount Isa ¬office, he floats the idea of a Canadian-inspired mining royalties “ramp up” scheme that he believes could be a game changer for the region.
“What they (mining companies) are saying is, it’s hard to get projects started,” he said. “The first year you pay 1 per cent, then you pay 2 per cent, and eventually, when you hit 5 per cent, you’re paying 5 per cent for good.
“When you do the net present value calculations, it makes the project look really good. “It works out to be a $30 million or $40 million discount, but you’re better having that than nothing.”
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