A new report by the Queensland Resources Council says mining in the Far North is worth $600 million a year to the economy.
In the electorate of Leichhardt, mining provided $589 million to the gross regional product and 4,685 jobs.
The report said, directly $130 million was paid in wages to 1549 workers and $206 million was spent on goods and services bought from 2184 local businesses plus $52 million in royalties.
In the Kennedy electorate, which includes Mt Isa, the sector is worth $2.7 billion and contributes nearly 20,000 jobs.
Directly $617 million in wages are paid to 4754 employees and $884 million is spent on goods and services bought at 1185 local businesses with $335 million paid in royalties.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said analysis showed the two electorates were major beneficiaries of the resources sector.
“Despite the current downturn in commodity prices, Queensland’s diversified minerals and energy sector continues to be responsible directly and indirectly for one in every five dollars in the state’s economy and one in every six jobs,” he said.
“Despite a slump in commodity prices and the ‘disrupt and delay’ tactics of activist groups, the Queensland resources sector continues to be the linchpin of the state economy as a generator of jobs, exports, spending and government revenues.”
Cairns economist Bill Cummings said the sector was worth a lot more in the Far North, adding the figures are for Queensland Resources Council members only.
“They do not include earnings from fly-in/fly-out and supply of other goods and services to mines outside of Queensland including in the Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea and the Freeport McMoRan mine in Papua Indonesia,” he said.