The post mine economy of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Robert MilesRobert Miles, J Cavaye, T Rayner, P Donaghy
The Zinifex Century Zinc mine, in the southern Gulf of northwest Queensland is expected to operate until 2017. The mine is a major regional economic driver and the closure will be significant for the Gulf communities. Accordingly it is now timely to consider the post mine economy for the region and to consider how best to lever off the existing and planned activity of the mine. This study analyses the economic contribution of the Zinifex Mine to the southern Gulf, assesses the likely impacts and provides some suggested pathways forward to capitalise on the existing investment window the mine has to offer as well capturing any development opportunities the mine will have on the region. While the primary goal is the post mine economy, underpinning the future economic development options identified for the southern Gulf are a range of social, cultural and attitudinal issues. These include cultural differences between indigenous and non indigenous Australians as well as the will, interest, skill and or capacity and business acumen of many non-indigenous and indigenous groups required to achieve self reliance. An integrated model is proposed to provide a framework to foster the post mine economy. The model provided emphasises three areas (a) underpinning prerequisites, (b) development of specific business opportunities, and (c) fostering individual and community capacity. These need to be considered holistically. The dynamics of the area and the support systems required are discussed in terms of achieving “on the ground” change. This paper is a brief synopsis of a more comprehensive report that is published elsewhere.