Mining jobs growth in Queensland took a positive turn with a coal project by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), that was dumped last year being revived with the possibility of creating 3500 mining jobs.
The proposed mine extension, near Moranbah in Central Queensland, has been declared a coordinated project by Queensland`s State Coordinator-General, who has advised Qld Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney, that the environmental assessment is now underway.
Coordinated projects are projects deemed to be of economic, social or environmental significance to the state.
The proposal includes an extension of three longwall panels in the Broadmeadow underground mine as well as future expansion of the Goonyella Riverside Mine.
Speaking to Australian Mining, Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker has welcomed the news, saying the extensions will bring employment opportunities to the Moranbah region.
“We welcome this development and BMAs potential to employ more than 2000 workers during the peak construction phase and up to 1500 during the peak operation phase,” Baker said.
She said the projects will also have a positive flow-on affect to mining service industries.
“We also look forward to the increase in employment opportunities for those in the transport industry and goods and services` supply,” Baker said.
“While Council is not naive enough to expect the total employment numbers to be sourced locally, some would be a huge benefit.
“If the project is approved, with the potential to create significant employment opportunities and produce an additional 14million tonnes of high-quality, hard coking coal a year for more than a 20-year life span, the local region should benefit economically and socially.
“While we welcome long-term investments like this, we want to see all Queenslanders share the returns of the resource sector.
This news coincides with revelations this week that Coal India (CIL), after three years of searching for suitable thermal coal assets overseas, has entered into negotiations with two major Australian coal companies to decide on up to $4 billion of investment in Central Queensland.
India has been in the news recently owing to the shortfall in their domestic coal supplies. It was estimated the Indian domestic and commercial coal market fell short by some 55 million tonnes per year.
We are seeing mining jobs in Queensland appear on the radar more frequently, despite the 8 months of speculation and discussion about the future of the Queensland coal mining industry. Australian mining companies have undergone great change owing to many factors such as oversupply, falling coal prices, increased competition, increasing labour costs, government government tax increases and lower productivity.
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Reference: Queensland Mining Jobs – BMA 3500 Red Hill Mining Jobs Boost