Oil, cars and fools' gold on Gladstone Port's radar
DIVERSIFICATION is key to the growth of Gladstone's port.
And Corporation CEO Craig Doyle is looking at all the possibilities - including fools' gold.
"While our staples for some years have been coal and the aluminium industry, we are now starting to experience the first major expansion with the LNG trains coming on stream, and the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal being commissioned," he said.
"But there are a number of other opportunities around. We are constantly having people knock on our door with new proposals.
"Our port is most definitely open for business."
The first log exports started recently, and the export of wood chip will start soon - a project expected to last up to two years.
There is potential for some significant cargo opportunities too.
"Carbine Resources is currently looking to reopen the Mt Morgan mine. If that comes off, they are expecting to export around 200,000 tonnes of pyrite, or fools' gold, on an annual basis through the port."
Mr Doyle said there had already been discussions about the proposed oil refinery, which would result in ships bringing crude oil to the port.
"We've had a couple of meetings with them and it looks promising," he said.
"I also believe there is room for a greater volume of containers to come across our wharves.
"It's a possibility that our port could be a conduit for various suppliers to share shiploads.
"It's the volume of containers that's the real problem here.
"A ship won't stop if it's to load off just a few containers. We're talking about how we could get this to work.
"Cars are another possibility. We understand that about 30% of the cars which land in Brisbane travel north by transporter.
"We had a vehicle carrier in the port in 2014 unloading mining equipment. It showed that our wharves can handle a ship like that."
Mr Doyle said the port had a "perfect set of assets" which were under-utilised, making diversification a valuable option.
While he isn't keen to see livestock handled on the Auckland Point wharf, should someone want to export live cattle from central Queensland, Fishermans landing was an option.
"However there is no real wharf there just yet... we're suggesting that livestock firms consider Port Alma (also controlled by GPC) which could be set up quite easily and test the market that way."