Glencore threat to quite Mt Isa because of energy woes – by John McCarthy (Brisbane Courier-Mail – May 30, 2017)

GLENCORE and the State Government are trying to resolve a crippling energy problem which could force the loss of 2000 jobs in north Queensland. The mining giant has again threatened to close its Mt Isa copper operations because of the high energy costs which have combined with high rail and labour costs.

It made the threat in 2016 over the high cost of operating the assets because of environmental conditions and earlier this month said energy costs were at the heart of the latest threat. The company held talks with the State Government on Tuesday as part of ongoing negotiations to resolve the issues.

It said the State Government had made a significant effort to engage on the issue but the company’s focus was on investigating options for secure, affordable and reliable energy and electricity supply at Mt Isa and Townsville to service its operations.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the meeting with Glencore was a chance to gain a better understanding of the issues. “At the meeting we agreed that the government and Glencore should undertake further discussions on how both side might work together on these issues,’’ Mr Pitt said.

“We both have an interest in protecting jobs and investments in North West Queensland.
“I will continue to discuss the matters of concern with the company over coming weeks and meet with representatives as necessary.”

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