The Queensland State Government has identified Legend International Holdings’ Paradise South mine as a Project of Regional Significance.


“The project is one of significance because it would contribute to the local, regional, state and national economies,’’ Premier Anna Bligh said.


The new mining project, in the state’s northwest, is expected to generate over 1300 direct and indirect jobs.


Projects that are of regional or state significance under the Gulf Water Resource Plan are eligible to acquire water from a strategic reserve – which means no water will be taken from existing allocations.


“This declaration is another stepping stone for Legend in their bid to develop a $s1.7 billion operation with a production life of up to 60 years,” Ms Bligh said.


Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan said that if given approval, the Paradise South project would create opportunities for employment and training, regional development, small business, development of secondary industries, investment and improved services.


Ms Bligh said Legend will still have to acquire other state and local government authorisations to ensure the existing water users’ needs are met and the environment is protected.


“While Legend is now eligible to acquire an entitlement from the strategic reserve, it is not guaranteed this entitlement.


“Upon conclusion of its project of regional significance, Legend must return its strategic reserve water entitlement to the State,” she said.