What are Australian mining companies up to these days, what’s the latest news and where can you expect to find the next wave of mining jobs in coal?
For instance, Rio Tinto has opened a new coal mine and has now just sold one – all in the last 2 weeks?
New multi-billion dollar mines for Queensland
Australia’s two largest miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, in the past two months have opened multi-billion dollar new mines in Queensland and BHP is close to finishing another. First it was the Daunia Coal mine and now Caval Ridge is almost ready to come online.
Rio Tinto just announced to the Australian mining industry, that it had sold its 50.1 per cent stake in Queensland’s Clermont thermal coal mine. This was purchased by global mining companies Glencore Xstrata and Sumitomo for the princely sum of $1 billion in cash.
The question to ask is, if you’re looking for a mining job with an Australian mining company – what do you do next and are there going to be mining jobs in the future?
Australia has more than half of the global metallurgical coal trade
Black coal is Australia’s second-highest export earner and is estimated to be worth about $40 billion a year in revenue and directly employs 50,000 people – with an even greater number of people employed in mining support jobs in the service and maintenance industries.
While big mining companies like Rio Tinto and BHP take long-term views of the industry, there have been permanent structural changes such as more supply from cheaper producing competitors. This has been a major concern for mining companies in Australia.
It’s no surprise to us all to learn of the workforce reductions as mining companies look to trim their expenses and turn around their balance sheets into the black. This is a natural reaction to a changing market and a global demand for coal being vied for by more and more emerging countries.
There is a long way to go if Australia is going to compete with the major producers elsewhere in the world.
Quality Coal is a highly sought after commodity – Australia has it
Official forecasts still have Australian exports of coal and other commodities like iron ore and LPG rising as we head towards the end of the decade, although† there are no guarantees and a lot of hope is being placed on new resource projects (some $260 billion worth) that are still in the planning phase to be build and come online.
The price of coal is not expected to rise in the short term, meaning mining companies will be looking to run their operations in a lean manner. This doesn’t mean the end of coal mining jobs, because when business is looking to run efficiently, this can mean a new wave of jobs as technology solutions are implemented to increase productivity.
Big mining companies like BHP or Rio Tinto can sit back and wait for the supply-demand balance to improve because they have already invested heavily in new technology which has lowered their extraction and logistics costs, creating a fatter buffer between low coal prices and a profitable and acceptable margin.
Both metallurgical and thermal coal demand still looks strong
Patersons Securities resources analyst Matthew Trivett said both metallurgical and thermal coal demand still looked strong, whether it was due to high steel production in China and elsewhere in Asia supporting iron ore or because it was still the cheapest energy source.
“The coal market is owned by very large balance sheets that can sustain marginal production for longer than anyone might want to hope,” RBS Morgans analyst Tom Sartor said.”There are no substitutes for it; we are no closer to finding an abundance of gas or alternative energies to substitute for coal,” he said.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls this month said Japan’s Mitsui and Mitsubishi’s large investments in Queensland coal were proof of a solid future and his recent trade mission to Asia and northern Europe found strong demand for the Queensland.
Mining jobs Queensland
Over the past 8 months, there has been a lot of activity from Indian power companies as well as mining companies, who are eying up coal tenements in the Surat Basin and the Galilee Basin in Queensland. Even the Queensland premier took his entourage to India to formerly agree on terms and to sweeten the many deals that are bubbling away.
Indian company $8 billion GVK’s Alpha project
Indian industrial heavyweight GVK Power is casting a firm eye on Australia`s hotbed of coal mining activity “ď making a bid of $8 billion dollars for a slice of the massive coal reserves in Queensland`s famed Galilee Basin. For people looking† to start a career in mining, this is exactly the type of news you must follow closely. Recent reports indicated there would be a flurry of mining jobs created in the Galilee Basin, and this recent article by iMINCO tells of the possibility of 1500 coal mining jobs would be created from he Alpha project alone.
The GVK Alpha Coal Project when it is in full production will deliver 32 million tonnes of high quality coal per year. International companies located in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Malaysia, The Philippines and Vietnamare also showing a keen interest for Queensland coal.
Blair Athol mine re-opens
Recently, Linc Energy has indicated it will release its long awaited plans for the reopening of the Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, indicating around 250 new mining jobs could be created.
Adani injects $300M into Carmichael mine
Adani Group, Indian coal mining giant has plans for a $300 million power line for its massive Australian Carmichael mine. If you`re looking for coal mining jobs in QLD, the Carmichael mine set to commence as soon as 2016, is initially employing 5000 construction workers, then Adani has stated it will need at least 4000 people to fill their Queensland mining job vacancies.
6000 Mining Jobs Queensland
Get prepared for over 3,500 construction jobs and over 2,300 mining jobs which will be created at in Queensland`s coal fields as Clive Palmer`s Warratah Coal project gets the green light from the Queensland government. This is a massive coal mining project for Queenslanders. This is a $6.4 billion coal mine and rail system is set to be the precursor to more coal mining start-ups in the State`s West.
Get ready to land yourself a highly paid mining job in Queensland
Komatsu 830E Haul Truck
The Komatsu 830E is an ultra class dump truck used in Australian open pit mining operations an is designed and built in Peoria, Illinois by Komatsu America Corporation (parent company is the Japanese held company Komatsu Ltd.
The Komatsu 830E is a beast, with 231,000 kilogram capacity (255 short tons). Although this is a big truck, the 830E's load capacity is about 66% the capacity of the Liebherr T 282C and Caterpillar 797B.This is an electric truck and is being featured in many new mining operations as well established mines in WA and QLD.
The electric drive system is very different fromt the transmission/differential drive of traditional trucks. The diesel engine is connected to a GE traction alternator with high voltage cables transfering electricity to the two wheel motors at the rear of the truck.
Read more about the KOMATSU 830E mining dump truck on the Komatsu website