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Defence has executed its first Deed of Access for resource extraction on Defence land near Greenvale, North Queensland, as part of the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI).

The signing of the Deed of Access for resource extraction with Sconi Mining Operation Pty Ltd will showcase Defence’s commitment to coexist with the resource industry and provide certainty for the company’s planned development of its nickel and cobalt mine and processing plant to proceed.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Deed of Access would complement the ASMTI.

“The signing of this deed with Sconi demonstrates Defence’s commitment to coexist with the resources industry on the land that Defence has acquired for training under the ASMTI,” Minister Reynolds said.

“When the ASMTI initiative reaches maturity, up to 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel will conduct training in Central and North Queensland for up to 18 weeks per year, for 25 years, which will providing significant economic benefits to the region.

“Realisation of the ASMTI, and the SCONI project also, shows the economic development potential of regional North Queensland and provides a vital boost to the local economy and jobs as the economy recovers from COVID-19.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Defence had already entered into Deeds of Access for resource exploration with two companies who would now be able to proceed with exploring for minerals within the Greenvale Training Area.

“We also recently announced the appointment of CPB Contractors Pty Ltd for the first phase of works for the new Defence Training Area near Greenvale,” Minister Price said.

“The construction workforce for the new Greenvale Training Area is expected to peak at 350 workers as part of the works, whilst CPB Contractors will be committed to sourcing about 90 per cent of work from the North Queensland region surrounding ASMTI.

“Upon the successful completion of the development phase of the $23.5 million contract with Defence, CPB Contractors will then be engaged to deliver the $800 million of facilities under the ASMTI with construction anticipated to commence by mid-2022.”

Senator McDonald said the Sconi nickel and cobalt mining and processing plant was of significance in the Queensland region.

“The mining and processing project will generate more than 300 full-time employment opportunities in the region for the initial 30-year life,” Senator McDonald said.

“Sconi has also committed to local operational expenditure and significant upgrades to infrastructure in the Greenvale region and surrounds.”

Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson said the Morrison Government was delivering on its commitment to bring economic benefits to North Queensland.

“I’m a big supporter of Defence and a big supporter of the resource industry. This announcement is a boost to two of the biggest sectors of the North Queensland economy.” Mr Thompson said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a further increase in economic activity when construction of the Greenvale Training Area commences in mid-2022.”


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