NSW mining jobs could be on the rise as mining contractor Downer EDI wins a $767 million contract.
Whitehaven Coal`s Maules Creek mine will see the new coal handling and processing plant (CHPP) built by Downer EDI.
This new contract for Downer EDI comes hot on the trail of yet another string of mining contracts awarded to the group.
At the beginning of 2014, BHP awarded Downer a whopping $100 million contract to construct its Western Australian port developments in the Pilbara region.
“a $100 million investment by Whitehaven Coal”
As the company goes from strength at a time where the media is hell-bent on reporting only a decline in NSW mining jobs, this contract is one of the largest. It is reported to be around a $100 million investment by Whitehaven Coal.
Full details of the contract are at this stage still being kept out of the media spotlight, however we do know that it will be Downer`s responsibility to build the CHPP.
“production rates of some 1600 tonnes per hour”
This will include construction of associated buildings and mechanical, electrical and instrumentation services. Once operational, production rates of some 1600 tonnes per hour are achievable.
Downer’s CEO Grant Fenn said “Downer is an Australian leader in CHPP design and construction and this project will be delivered by our experienced infrastructure team, including its specialist coal consultancy QCC Resources”.
On the other side of the fence, Whitehaven’s managing director Paul Flynn said they were pleased to be awarding the NSW contract to Downer EDI who will be able to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure for the Maules Creek coal mining project.
Maules Creek has suffered plenty over the last couple of years, including NSW mining job losses, however this new wave of investment and faith in the capabilities of the mine has put it back on track to begin first coal sales around mid-2015.
“the $767 million project is progressing”ť
The new CHPP construction phase of the $767 million project is progressing as per the schedule and already a number of high quality contractors are engaged and actively working on building the project for Whitehaven.
Maules Creek details
Maules Creek is quite unique in the fact that it is one of the last major undeveloped multi-seam coal deposits in New South Wales. It is a 2,000ha greenfield open-cut coal mine with a mine-life expectancy of 30 years. The mine has state government approval to extract around 13 million tonnes of coal per year and transport by rail 12.4 million tonnes of coal from the mine site each year.
The project is one of the most significant investments currently underway in regional NSW. Somewhere in the region 340 full time NSW mining jobs (incl contractors) would be created in the construction phase and about 470 full time mining jobs would be created to operate the mine..
The Maules Creek Coal Project is in the heart of the Gunnedah Basin. Mining jobs have been sustained at the mine for many years. It is approximately 18km north-east of Boggabri and only 16km from the main railway line servicing the coal terminals at the Port of Newcastle, which is 360km south-east of the project.
Types of coal mined at Maules Creek
High quality, low ash, low sulphur and low phosphorus semi-soft coking coal and low ash, low sulphur, high energy thermal coal are targetted.
The rise of NSW mining jobs
This new contract once again compounds the notion that coal mining in Australia still has a bright outlook. Heavy investment in the coal sector has once again raised the expectations of the thousands of mining specialists who have endured a tough 12 months.
The billions of dollars of investment in the mining sector has slowed, however contracts such as this for the credible sum of $767 million are no drop in the ocean.
When you look at other investments in coal mining operations across the border in Queensland, there is a clear message being sent by Australian mining companies that coal has a big part to play in the power generation fuel source of the future.
Many people are still looking to the mining sector as a means to a secure future – and whilst there is no guarantee of security in any industry, the fact remains, mining is still a good option for many people who have a natural aptitude in the manual and mechanical fields.
Find out more about the NSW mining jobs being created at the Maules Creek mine, by visiting the Whitehaven Coal website. www.whitehavencoal.com.au
Discover what training courses are available to help prepare for a mining career.
Recommended training courses
- NSW mining jobs start with the right training and consider enrolling in the Mining Induction course (Standard 11)
- Are you a new starter who wants to see if a job at the Maules Creek mine is right for you? Read about what it takes to be a new starter in the NSW coal mining industry.
- Are you a tradesman or machinery operator looking for ways to break into the NSW coal mining sector? Upgrade your qualifications and get mine-ready.
- Get your copy of the iMINCO mining jobs book. This is a ‘no-cost’ e-book that shows you exactly what you need to do to beef up your NSW mining jobs chances.
- Get your copy of the iMINCO “Experts Guide to Entry Level Mining Jobs book“. This is a good read for new starters who have no experience working in a NSW mining job.
- Learn about the NSW mining industry and get weekly updates in your email inbox with iMINCO Project News.
Reference: NSW mining jobs boost – Whitehaven Coal awards Downer EDI Maules Creek coal handling and processing plant construction contract.
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