BHP plans to build a huge coal mine in NSW, creating hundreds of mining jobs.
The new mine could become one of the largest underground mines on the planet.
BHP gets serious about its mining future in Australia
BHP has started 2014 with a new sharp focus on reshaping its mining and energy operations around the globe. Australia has been targeted as one of BHP`s future growth areas in terms of developing highly efficient and profitable mining operations.
A lean and highly productive BHP of the future is now emerging. Its focus is on diversification as well as releasing core operations that no longer serve the company.
BHP has started to show it is steadfast in its resolve to once again become the world’s most successful mining company for decades to come.
“a `super-cycle` of mining activity”
The mining fever that hit Australia 2-3 years ago created a `super-cycle` of mining activity and BHP invested heavily in systems to allow them to prepare for the inevitable throttling back of global demand in iron ore and coal.
Just as global demand slows, an underlying current of future demand begins its wave once again. Mining companies like BHP are well placed to understand which commodities will be highly sought after in years to come and are making plans today to be well-prepared to meet the demand.
News of the proposed underground mine development is no real surprise given the recent developments at BHP. Last week, the mining company made media headlines when it announced a demerger of its core assets to create a spin-off company.
This is a clear sign, BHP is about to reinvent itself and is taking the challenges of mining in the future very seriously.
NSW coal mine could be one of the world’s biggest
BHP Billiton has made the first move to get government environmental approvals to allow the building of the mine which has been slated for thr Liverpool plains, in north-west New South Wales.
The Caroona Coal mine has been talked up by BHP as being one of the biggest in the world. Export expectations are running high with talk of some 10 million tonnes of thermal coal per year – with a life cycle of about 30 years. One of the other big bonuses of the new mine is the number of NSW mining jobs it will bring to the region.
“600 people could be employed”
As many as 600 people could be employed when the mine is operating at maximum capacity and around 400 permanent jobs during the 30 years of operation.
Located 40 kilometres south-east of Gunnedah under some of the most fertile farming land in Australia, concerns have been raised about how the mining project will affect natural groundwater flow. Local farmers from the Liverpool Plains have voiced their opinion that the Caroona Coal mine could affect the flood plain, however BHP Billiton development that is proposed is within guidelines provided by state government.
“real benefits will be to the economy and community”
The preliminary environmental studies undertaken for the Gateway submission have said that the new underground mine would not affect the aquifers which are essential for agricultural production in the area.
BHP have said they will always satisfy the strict environmental requirements for each assessment stage and make it clear what the real benefits will be to the economy and community.
BHP has also said the coal resource is very valuable to New South Wales and the local community, therefore it really needs to be an agreement that satisfies landholders and the company.
When will the coal mine be built?
The Caroona mine construction is still a few years away, with expectations of a start-up around 2018.
BHP`s coal boss, Dean Dall Valle delivered a speech stating the Caroona coal project was a key focus for the company`s NSW coal mining operations. Despite the long delay in the project, NSW mining jobs in construction and operations will be created over the course of the mine’s development and life cycle.
Global demand for coal remains strong
It’s also no surprise to learn that Mr Valle made a point of mentioning that coal would continue to be the source of around 35 per cent of the world`s electricity needs. Within the next 20 years, there is high-level expectation that 1.7 billion people will have access to electricity for the first time ever.
These people are residents in third world and developing nations. For most Australian’s that is a big number to come to terms with -however this demand for coal gives an indication of just how important the coal industry will be to Australia in the coming years.
BHP have made it quite clear, they are preparing for global future demand for coal as it is critical to the creation of electricity. Coal also remains one of the lowest-cost forms of generating power and will continue to be so for many years to come.
Mining news – the key to mining jobs
Stay in touch with the BHP underground coal mine development with iMINCO Project News. The new mine will create hundreds of NSW mining jobs in the State once final approval has been granted. iMINCO will be following developments – make sure you do not miss the jobs opportunities that will be created by the project.