Industry Information

The Gladstone region has been recognised by both State and Federal governments as being destined to become the major industrial centre in Australia in the 21st century.

Studies have identified the Gladstone region as Australia’s most cost-efficient industrial site, rating it as one of the top 6 to 8 locations in the world for the establishment of major industry.

The Gladstone region offers distinct advantages for major industrial development:
World class port facilities;
Established industrial and social infrastructure;
Availability of land designated for industrial use;
Abundant energy resources – coal, gas, electricity, water;
Community acceptance of intelligent, responsible industrial development. 


Australian Magnesium Corporation
Australian Magnesium Corporation is an Australian owned corporation based in Brisbane. Formed in 2001, the company sought to start a new industry based on Australian technology and Australian resources, thereby increasing Australia’s wealth through value adding to our raw materials. The Gladstone based Demonstration plant produces Magnesium metal from the mineral, magnesite quarried at Kunwarara, 65km north of Rockhampton. Magnesium is the lightest of the structural metals.

The $45 million Demonstration Plant at Gladstone has been operating since 1998 and represents the culmination of 15 years of research by AMC, the CSIRO and others.

The intention is for AMC to construct and operate a commercial facility adjacent to the Stanwell Power Station, this location indicating the reliance of the process on power and steam. This plant will, on commissioning be the largest in the world with a capacity of 90,000 tonnes/annum of Magnesium Metal and potential for significant upscaling. Workfoce will be of the order of 400 persons.

Orica Australia Pty Ltd
Orica Australia commenced operations in Gladstone in June 1990. Since commencing in the Gladstone Region, they have undergone several expansions, and are considering further expansions. Orica produce various chemicals, principally sodium cyanide (which is used to leach gold from ore) and ammonium nitrate (principally used to manufacture explosives). Chlorine is also produced which is used to purify water.

Orica’s safety, health and environment objective is simply not to harm people or the environment. Their vision of "No Injuries to Anyone Ever" expresses our commitment to eliminate all injuries.

Orcia website –

Queensland Alumina Limited
Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) commenced in March 1967 with an annual production rate of 600,000 tonnes of alumina. Today QAL is the world’s largest alumina refinery, producing some 3.95 million tonnes of the world’s best smelter grade alumina per year. Estimated replacement value of QAL is approximately US$4 billion.

The refinery covers 80 hectares of a 400-hectare site on the south-east outskirts of the city of Gladstone. Adjacent to the plant is a wharf and storage facility on South Trees Island, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway bridge. 

QAL operates with an average workforce of 1050 employees, and some 300 plus contractors which varies with workload. Annually QAL contributes approximately $200 million directly to the local economy in wages, salaries, maintenance and capital work. Local goods and services are used wherever possible. 

QAL website –

Comalco Alumina Refinery
Rio Tinto Aluminium Yarwun (formerly known as Comalco Alumina Refinery or CAR) was officially opened in March 2005, following a three-year construction phase. The refinery has an annual production capacity of 1.4 million tonnes of smelter grade alumina. The operation is 100 per cent owned by Rio Tinto Aluminium. The design of the refinery allows for further expansion which could see production increase to more than four million tonnes per annum. The first shipments from the refinery were made in November 2004. Refining is the second stage of the aluminium production process. 

Comalco Alumina Refinery website –

Austicks Pty Ltd produces high quality ice cream sticks from plantation timber – Australia’s renewable resource. The factory at Gladstone produces for both the Australian and export markets.

Austicks also produces timber veneer used in plywood and decorative panelling. Austicks employs a quality management system to ISO 9002 standard to ensure a high standard is maintained.

Queensland Rail
Queensland Rail provides the transport link in Queensland’s coal and minerals supply chain from mine to port or domestic coal consumer. Gladstone is the centre of two of QR’s coal systems – The Blackwater Rail System and The Moura Rail System.

Queensland Rail website –

The Stuart Project
The Stuart Project involves the staged development of the Stuart Oil Shale Deposit located north of Gladstone.  The project is owned and operated by Southern Pacific Petroleum N.L. (SPP) and, involves mining of oil shale by open cut methods and the processing of oil shale to produce petroleum products.  The three-stage 10-12 year development involves an investment of more than $3 billion with the potential to create a significant oil shale mining industry for Australia.

Boyne Smelters
Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) is Australia’s largest aluminium smelter. The smelter produces more than half a million tones of aluminium each year from its three reduction lines. Production activities at the smelter include manufacturing of carbon anodes, aluminium production (smelting) in reduction lines, and casting of molten metal into aluminium products. Aluminium production is supported by numerous other functional areas such as power supply, maintenance, environment, process improvement, procurement, human resources, community relations and shipping and transport.

The expansion of Line 3 at BSL during 1994 to 1997 was one of the State’s major private sector investments for the period.

Bauxite is mined at Rio Tinto Aluminium Weipa in Cape York and shipped to Queensland Alumina Limited for refining in Gladstone. Alumina is transported by conveyor to BSL for the third stage of the aluminium production process called smelting. 

Boyne Smelters website –

Cement Australia (Qld) Pty Ltd
Since its beginnings in 1914, the QCL Group has evolved into a major supplier of cement and concrete materials to the construction industry in Australia. Recently, QCL’s ongoing commitment to Gladstone was confirmed with the official opening of a $200 million plant expansion project, world class in terms of production efficiency and environmental performance.  Annual production is around 1.6 million tonnes, supplying cement and clinker throughout Queensland, to other Australian states and overseas destinations.

Gladstone Area Water Board
The Gladstone Area Water Board was established in 1973 as Project Board under State and Regional Planning and Development, Public Works Organisation and Environmental Control Act 1971-73. It was specifically formed to assist the two local Authorities, Gladstone Town Council and the Calliope Shire Council in coping with the heavy financial demands being imposed on them in the early 1970’s because of the continued need to upgrade the water supply system serving the area as a result of continued industrial growth. GAWB’s purpose is to ensure the long and short term water needs of current and future customers are met in ways that are environmentally, socially and commercially sustainable. 

Gladstone Area Water Board –

Gladstone Ports Corporation previously known as Central Queensland Port Authority
The Port of Gladstone is one of the world’s top five coal export ports, handling in excess of 38 million tonnes of coal per annum. Coal is the port’s largest trade, representing over 70% of the total cargo exported through the port. Central Queensland Ports Authority owns and operates two coal export terminals in the Port – R G Tanna Coal Terminal and Barney Point Terminal. Combined, these two terminals have the capacity to handle over 45 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). CQPA’s $80 million R G Tanna Coal Terminal (RGTCT) Expansion Project was officially completed in June 2003 and increased the terminal’s throughput capacity from 30Mtpa to 40Mtpa. A Project Brief on the RGTCT Expansion Project is available. 

Gladstone Ports Corporation website –

Gladstone Power Station
Gladstone Power Station (GPS) is Queensland’s largest coal fired power station with a capacity of 1,680 megawatts. It was acquired from the Queensland Electricity Commission in 1994 by a joint venture comprising Rio Tinto Aluminium (42.125 per cent), three of its Japanese partners in Boyne Smelters Limited (SLMA GPS 8.5 per cent; YKK GPS (Queensland) 4.75 per cent and Mitsubishi 7.125 per cent) and NRG, a US based energy provider (37.5 per cent). NRG Gladstone Operating Services manages the operation of the power station on behalf of the participants. The station provides power to BSL, which has an entitlement to 50 per cent of the station’s capacity. GPS commenced operation in 1976. The station has six generating units.

Gladstone Power Station website –

Gladstone Airport
The Gladstone Airport has been a hot topic since the recent rapid deterioration of the runway and at the Gladstone Regional Council fourth general meeting on 29 April 2008, the decision was made to proceed with the upgrading of the facility. The extension of the runway will allow larger passenger aircraft used by low cost carriers to access the Gladstone Airport, presenting opportunities for them to enter the market, potentially reducing the cost of air travel for residents of, and visitors to, the Gladstone Region. The upgrade will include the reconstruction of the existing runway to meet CASA standards, the extension of the runway from 1600 metres to 1915 metres and an upgrade of the airport terminal to include security screening systems for luggage and passengers.

Council believe that this decision will ensure growth of the region. The complete planning reports for the project can be viewed on Council’s website:

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