Amidst the not-so-positive news pervading the mining industry in Australia, a bright light has started to shine on mining jobs in NSW.
Whitehaven Coal is gearing up to hire around 450 workers for its controversial $767 million Maules Creek mine development and is considered to have one of the largest coal deposits in Australia with 362Mt of coal waiting to be mined.
The Maules Creek Coal Project is located in NSW in the middle of the Gunnedah Basin. It’s about 18km north-east of Boggabri and just 16km from the main railway line servicing the coal terminals at the Port of Newcastle, which is located 360km south-east of Maules Creek.
Rail and earthworks are on schedule with major contractor Leighton, Ditchfield, Segmen Downer and Stripes (water supply) pulling out the stops to develop the open-cut mine and infrastructure.
The $767 million project
Whitehaven Coal reported its $767 million project is almost 50 per cent complete, and at this stage in the game, it’s preparing to produce the first coal around about March 2015.
The Maules Creek Coal Project will recover all 15 open-cut minable coal seams in the mining tenement. Whitehaven will make good use of the latest modern mining equipment and technologies for the Project which will create a safe and efficient mining operation.
Coal from the project is high quality, low ash, low sulphur and low phosphorus semi-soft coking coal. There is also a resource of low ash, low sulphur, high-energy thermal coal.
At full coal production output, Maules Creek is expected to produce 13 million tonnes of coal annually. The government is also set to reap around $6.5 billion in royalties and corporate tax over the first 21 years of the mine’s life.
Coal loading deadlines force mining jobs recruitment drive
Whitehaven are ramping up the recruitment process to 450 permanent workers for its team who will man the mine in just a few short months. With the looming deadline of 2015 for the first coal to be loaded, time is of the essence.
Construction has also gone up a notch and the race is on to get the project completed.
Locals win in mining jobs bonanza
NSW mining jobs are welcomed in the Gunnedah Basin and locals are ecstatic at the news that Whitehaven have committed to almost 85 per cent of the mine`s workers being sourced from the Gunnedah, Tamworth, Narrabri, and Liverpool Plains areas.
“local businesses will benefit from Maules Creek mine development”
Typically with these type of localised mining operations, additional employment opportunities will be created as well as additional flow-on benefits to local businesses in the region.
This is exceptional for the mining industry in New South Wales. Maules Creek has battled not only the onslaught of conservationists, but also the ups and downs of the coal industry challenges of 2012 – 2013.
Yet, despite this, we take great satisfaction from knowing that although the coal industry in Australia is morphing into a new more leaner and productive operation, there is still the need for highly trained and motivated people to work in mines – at all levels of experience and qualifications.
There is still much work to be done by the Australian government to shore up the coal mining industry. However, shining examples of how mining companies in Australia are buffing the trend only serve as a positive outlook for people looking for employment in the mining industry.
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