A billion tonnes of coal waiting to be mined out of the Toowoomba region
The new owners of a coal mine west of Toowoomba have said they will hire over 120 local workers at the mine in the coming months.
Sekitan Resources (a subsidiary of Exergen) paid $10 million for the Wilkie Creek coal mine at Maclister in July, after its former owners Peabody Energy closed down the coal mine way back in 2013. Exergen is a clean coal company, that uses `vertical autoclave technology` to reduce emissions by removing the water out of high moisture coal. They have various mining projects underway throughout Australia.
Exergen claims its new technology, teamed with modern coal-fired power station technology, will deliver up to 40 per cent emissions reductions.
Exergen shareholders now also include mining and construction giant Thiess, Tata Power, a member of the Indian Tata Group of Companies, and engineering specialist, Sedgman Limited.
$16 million for new wash plant at Wilkie Creek
It’s been rumoured that Sekitan will spend around $16 million on a new wash plant at the site.
The mine was slated to billionaire Nathan Tinkler in early 2014, but the sale did not go ahead after Tinkler paid a $5 million non-refundable deposit for the mine, but then missed a string of payment deadlines.
Despite a turbulent coal market, the new owner`s plan to reopen the mine and expand the workforce, which is extremely good news for the local Toowoomba community.
Trevor Bourne, CEO of Sekitan, told The Chronicle that the Wilkie Creek owner will need around 126 workers, and preference would be given to those who live in close proximity to the mine. There would not a a FIFO workforce at all.
Over a billion tonnes of coal
“So we have over a billion tonnes of coal between the two assets,” Trevor Bourne said.
“Our plan is for three million tonnes per annum; up to five million and even greater if we are successful.”
Mr Bourne also said rail access out of the region was the greatest obstacle to developing the mine.
“Something has to change on this rail line for it to be competitive.”
The coal plant is scheduled for production later in 2015 with expectations the will ramp up to full capacity some time in 2016.
Mining jobs for Queensland locals
The news of Sekitan Resources $10 million purchase of Wilkie Creek coal mine is a positive outcome in a struggling coal sector in QLD. Although there are many other coal mines still on the drawing board in QLD, it’s heartening to see a local mine bringing employment to the QLD region. New Hope mining are also an active ‘cashed-up’ mining company who have huge coal assets in the region.
For many workers, chasing the employment opportunities is something that becomes natural and in some cases, it’s meant moving closer to a mine to find the work – especially when it is the intention of the mining company to employ local workers.
The proven way to get a mining job is to do your research on the mine and mining company. Find out what type of mining is carried out, is it open-cut, drill and blast, or are there underground seams that can be developed at a later stage. All of these facts reveal the clues as to how to go about applying for work and getting the edge on all of the other applicants.
iMINCO has put together a series of digital books you can download to help find jobs and position yourself as an expert in mining operations. These guides are useful for TA’s to machinery operators and higher management – it does not matter who you are, the principals are much the same.
For those who are wanting to apply for jobs at Wilkie Creek, it is advisable to have a current Standard 11 Mining Induction qualification, or for those who require a Standard 11 refresher course, as well as a current Coal Board Medical.
Read more about the Wilkie Creek mine here:
- Read more about the sale of Wilkie Creek on the International Coal News website: Peabody sells Wilkie Creek to Sekitan
- Read about the Wilkie Creek mine in farmonline.com.au: Wilkie Creek sold to Sekitan
- If you’re looking for a job with Exergen, then start by looking at their website: exergen.com.au