The parent company of Queensland zinc producer Sun Metals has tipped $17 million to support the development of the CopperString 2.0 transmission project, in a deal facilitated by the Queensland government.
The CopperString 2.0 project, which will establish a major transmission network link between Townsville and central Queensland, secured the additional $17 million investment in a deal with the Korea Zinc Company.
The development of the CopperString 2.0 project is being developed by the Townsville based CuString, and the project is expected to unlock substantial new investment in Queensland wind and solar projects, which is in turn expected to drive massive new investments in minerals projects.
CopperString 2.0 would see an estimated 1,000km of new transmission network infrastructure built across Northern Queensland, linking Mount Isa and Townsville at an expected total cost of $1.5 billion.
The region is host to large deposits of minerals used in the production of clean energy technologies like battery technologies and electric vehicles, including copper, lead, zinc, nickel and cobalt.
The investment in the project by Korea Zinc Company the is the parent company for the Townsville based zinc producer Sun Metals, follows investments in number of its own solar energy projects, and a planned to expansion of its operations into green hydrogen production.
The added investment, which adds to an earlier $11 million in funding provided by the federal government, will aid the project progress towards reaching a final investment decision in mid-2021.
The CopperString 2.0 project has also received $14.8 million in funding from the Queensland state government and received a $5.2 million grant in 2019 to fund early preparatory works.
“This financing agreement enlivens the significant opportunity we have to make the Queensland economy more resilient with CopperString’s potential to deliver a 40% reduction in wholesale electricity prices for the North West Minerals Province to drive our global competitiveness in minerals mining and manufacturing and unlock new industries such as hydrogen,” managing director of CuString Joseph O’Brien said.
“With known resources in the [North West Minerals Province] estimated at $680 billion, we can see the real potential of having Korea Zinc, who are a global leader in minerals processing, employer and value-adding exporter in North Queensland, investing in the CopperString project.”
“According to the economic impact analysis, the CopperString 2.0 Project will sustain an additional 3,561 FTE jobs in Northern Queensland on average for the period to 2050, increase the real economic output of Queensland, and add gross minerals production of $154 billion; and if we can continue our collaboration with the Queensland Government and Australian Government these important economic and employment benefits will flow across Queensland,” O’Brien added.
Chairman of Korea Zinc, Yun Choi, added that the company saw the CopperString 2.0 project as strengthening the clean energy and minerals industries in the North Queensland region.
“This regional economic development opportunity is important to Sun Metals and Korea Zinc, and is a strong element of our interest in supporting the CopperString project,” Choi said. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Palaszczuk Government and CopperString in relation to minerals processing, renewable energy and hydrogen development.”