A Queensland mining company says it will employ 100% locals for its Bowen Basin coal mining operations.
Since BMA decided on a predominantly FIFO workforce for its new coal mines, New Emerald Coal wants to create local Qld mining jobs.
These days it’s not often we hear of local workers having a fair go of getting jobs at mines that are situated close to where they live. This recent news from New Emerald Coal is heartening for locals who have the right qualifications and mining experience but who, at this stage, have been unsuccessful in gaining mining employment.
Australian mining companies & Qld FIFO Jobs
With BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance using a large contingency of FIFO workers at its Daunia and Caval Ridge coal mines, junior mining company New Emerald Coal is using an “employ local” policy for those living in nearby Moranbah or in the greater Central Queensland region.
“mining company buys mine for $1”
NEC has indicated it plans to re-open the mothballed Blair Athol mine by June 30 this year. The mine was purchased from Rio Tinto in 2013 for the princely sum of one Australian dollar.
Already, over 120 Qld mining jobs have been created using workers from the surrounding towns of Rockhampton, Clermont and Mackay. One of the smart business decisions NEC has made is to focus on employing local workers to ensure that the community in which they operate benefits from employment opportunities if they have the right skill-set and experience to fill the position.
“FIFO helped the company secure a more diverse set of personnel.”
BMA has six mines in the region and has a workforce of about 4000 workers who live in Central Queensland. BMA in a bold move, preferred to create Qld mining jobs at its two new mines to skilled and semi-skilled workers who lived in Cairns and south-east Queensland. In recent times, BMA has said using a FIFO helped the company secure a more diverse set of personnel.
Local mining jobs for Queensland communities
The move by New Emerald Coal to create mining jobs for local Queenslanders has the support of the Queensland Government, with Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney describing it as “spreading the wealth” of the resources industry.
The term “geographic discrimination” was also coined by Federal MP George Christensen (who represents Mackay). He has previously come out swinging saying the approach of BMA to favour a FIFO workforce in the Bowen Basin coal fields of Queensland should be illegal.
Qld mining jobs – the dilemma
However, with the fluctuations in the world coal markets, increased competition and volatile spot prices of coal, both thermal and coking, mining companies in Australia have a strong focus on building a workforce with the right mix of skills and mindset.
In an ideal world it would be perfect if we could employ the right mix of skilled people who lived across the street from the mine – should a mine be located in the Sydney CBD or outskirts of Melbourne. Having such a large pool of local workers would be more beneficial to mining companies and create a workforce that would be optimised to the max.
“Lean, low-cost and profitable mining operations”
Unfortunately, mining in Australian has changed and we are now seeing the results of these changes as mining becomes more reliant on new technology and innovation. Lean, low-cost and profitable mining operations are the focus of Australian mining companies.
Without this focus, mining jobs in Queensland could be a thing of the past as other countries rally to meet the demands of the growing power needs of developing countries who are reliant on coal to fuel industrialisation and urban development.
Global competition in the coal market is rife and Queensland mines must become highly profitable and efficient if they are to remain in business and employing local workers in Qld mining jobs.
“focusing on working with local communities”
Local mining companies like New Emerald Coal, breath new life into the struggling communities of the Queensland coal fields and create much needed Qld mining jobs for locals. There are many other local mining companies who are doing a great job, focusing on working with local communities using the skilled and qualified workers who live within driving distance from the mines.
Mining companies who operate remote mines in Queensland can’t always give local people a job, a FIFO workforce may be the only solution - however, balance is always a good thing for communities to flourish and benefit from Queensland mining projects.
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