Mining project's balance between tourism, heritage and jobs
JOHN Steinberger has seen Mount Morgan go from boom to bust, and hopes, in the near future, back again.
The Mount Morgan Promotion and Development Incorporated president and TMC Tours operator was confident after community consultations with Carbine Resources the company had what it takes to revitalise the dormant mine.
The company released findings of their feasibility study, and are hopeful of a 2017 start date for construction.
"They have indicated they are going to supply some jobs for locals (110) and even talk of trainees, so that might help with the youth of the area," he said.
"Which is great, because if you understand Mount Morgan's history from boom to bust in the last 30-plus years we have had very high unemployment, we are in the 20%... and I suppose the mine has the ability to move to the next stage.
"They are not only just saying the possibility of a 10-year lifespan, the second stage is also 10 years," he said.
For the local history buff, John's ears pricked up at talk the town would retain key features including significant buildings and iconic stacks.
In more good news for the town, Carbine Resources proposed to continue and improve mine tours through enhanced operations.
"I am impressed at their comments on trying to develop tourism more up there, that's a bonus and also trying to keep some sort of the heritage up there," John said.
"They also commented on the fireclay cabins which is where the dinosaur footprints are... it will assist in getting them reopened.
"What you have got in your own backyard of Central Queensland... is 300 Jurassic footprints, some of the oldest in Australia sitting there.
"I am not talking as a tour operator, but of the town, region and palaeontology importance; if it's gone it's gone forever, and would be lost for future generations."
John said Carbine Resources director Tony James appeared determined to maintain the balance between mining, tourism and heritage which he believed would support industry growth and improve the environment through processes such as extracting pyrite for international export.
He said of the more than 100 locals in attendance on Wednesday night, the consensus was in support of the mine getting the go-ahead.
"Locals are concerned if the mine won't happen, we're hoping with the feasibility study they get enough funding.
"There doesn't appear to be anything that hasn't been answered, and questions have been asked, and also well received.
"There was well over 100 people there, which is great for this little community.
"The majority of the people support it... there's always the issues and history of the noise and the dust, but they have actually gone out of their way to move the plant further into the mine site.
"As far as I can see most of the townspeople support the mine going ahead... realistically it creates jobs and spinoffs for economic viability to other business as well, not only Mount Morgan, but the region."