A study published by James Cook University (JCU) has found major opportunities in Queensland's North East Minerals province.


The study found that major new mining operations in the area would lead to an $1.2 billion annual impact over 10 years.


Townsville Enterprise general manager of economic development, Ross Contrino, said that the organisation hoped the study would spur resource industry companies to look closely at the opportunities highlighted by the JCU study.


"Along with 37 existing operations, the study had identified 21 sites as having the potential for zinc, gold, copper, magnetite and nickel mining. The quantity and quality of the copper deposits is particularly exciting." Mr Contarino said.


The North East Minerals province is already home to a number of major mining projects including nickel, which was identified as having the greatest potential by the study.


Other major projects include Kagara's Red Dome open-pit mine in the Chillagoe district where fresh drilling has uncovered significant additional copper, and the company's Mount Garnet tenements.


Fresh drilling in already mined areas has uncovered large deposits of copper and other resources that are expected to flow through the Port of Townsville as well as possibly Cairns and Mourilyan.


The JCU study was undertaken by teams led by Dr Tom Blenkinsop, of the Economic Geology Research Unit, and School of Business economist Dr Riccardo Welters. The study covered investigations into existing mines, known deposits and potential development in other areas.

The projected annual gains are based on current pricings of minerals and resources and are expected to generate royalties of up to $458 million over 10 years.