Queensland Government has given permission to Glencore Australia to continue operations beyond 2022. The company announced that it will extend the copper smelting operation in Mount Isa and Townsville refinery beyond 2022.
Glencore Australia will get one-off incentive under North Queensland Government’s Recovery Plan.The company acknowledged the goodwill gesture. The company will invest AUD$500mn for the continued operations of the copper smelter and refinery.
The incentives will help Glencore to partially mitigate negative costs of maintaining assets and compete with other global players. This agreement secures ongoing employment for about 570 employers and other 1,000 persons indirectly associated with them. The company added that it would undertake economic feasibility studies of large-scale e-recycling or custom smelting into the future.
The Mount Isa Copper smelter and Townsville refinery are the only copper metallurgical assets of their kind in Queensland.
Mount Isa copper smelter has a capacity to process around 6.5mn mt of copper ore annually. Copper cathodes, concentrates are exported to China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore Taiwan, Thailand, India, Germany and Canada.
Copper Refineries (CRL) at Townsville is capable of producing 300,000mt of 99.995pc pure copper cathode per year through Glencore’s proprietary IsaKIDD process.