Following on from the announcement by Global mining giant Glencore this morning to reduce mine production of Zinc metal by 500,000 tonnes globally per annum, Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and State Member for Mt Isa Rob Katter retain confidence in the prosperity of the area.
The production cuts will see the company temporarily suspend operations at Lady Loretta and reduce production at George Fisher and McArthur River operations. Lady Loretta and George Fisher mine are in Bob and Rob Katter’s electorates – near Mount Isa.
It is understood this will result in significant job losses
Bob Katter, who previously served as the State Minister for Mines and Energy, is confident the changes will only have a short term impact on Mt Isa.
“The decision to continue operations at George Fisher reinforces what I have been saying all along – that these are world class ore bodies and have a guaranteed future.
“There is not the slightest doubt in my mind, when I was young and floating my own mining company, that the price of zinc will be lifted dramatically over the next 12 months, and I look forward to a restoration of these jobs.
“In the meantime, we have indicated the strongest possible position that despite the cutbacks, the population and community structure in Mount Isa / Cloncurry area will be kept intact,” Bob Katter said.
State Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter also drew attention to the advice that a number of the cutbacks were within the Fly in Fly Out sector not the local population.
“Whilst there have been job cutbacks, it has to be acknowledged that the majority of these are FIFO that will have a limited impact on Mount Isa.
“It must also be recognised, that whilst there is some short term pain in the zinc market, the long term projections in this market are very strong. This is a twenty year plus resource that will carry Mount Isa long into the future,” Rob Katter said.
Bob Katter has appealed to Glencore to prioritise local jobs.
“People flying in from the big cities have other alternative employment available, we do not – we are insisting that the company make this one of the highest priorities for consideration,” Bob Katter said
Both the State and Federal Members had urgent discussions with Glencore senior management, who are hoping to relocate many of the local jobs that will be lost at George Fisher.