The recent opening of†the new Rio Tinto $US2 billion Kestrel coal mine in Emerald, central Queensland, has bucked the current media trends of doom and gloom in the Australian coal mining industry.
Hundreds of new Rio Tinto jobs in Queensland have now been created.
The company has created more mining jobs at Rio Tinto in a climate where there has been less to sing about over the last few months. It was not every day a new $US2 billion coal operation was opened, especially in today’s climate. This is a clear indication of the confidence the big mining companies like Rio Tinto are placing in terms of investing in the future of the resource sector, in particular the Australian coal mining industry.
Remembering there are still over $260 billion worth of resource projects still on the cards in this country, it’s now a time for people looking for a mining job to re-think their options, such as training and upskilling in the necessary qualifications mining companies are looking for.
At the opening of the new coal mine extension Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said while the “doomsayers” had claimed the boom was over and coal was on the way out, Rio Tinto’s investment in Kestrel South was further evidence that this simply was not the case.
Rio Tinto invests in Queensland coal mine to build coal asset performance
Rio Tinto is in the process of transforming the performance of its energy division, particularly their Australian coal assets.
The new Kestrel extension is Rio’s only underground coalmine, it will add 20 years to Kestrel’s life and increase hard coking coal production around 6 million tonnes per year by the end of 2014. The new extension will also provide a secure mining jobs future for their workforce of more than 400 employees.
Kestrel Mine general manager operations John Coughlan said, “After four years of construction, seeing the longwall cutting coal is an exciting milestone and marks the start of a long future for Kestrel Mine. We process high quality coking coal for export using the longwall method and expect to see our first shipment from this new area of the mine leave Australia in coming weeks”.
The underground construction of a new 375 metre longwall has been a big edition to the coal extraction infrastructure. There have been additional infrastructure developments such as a 7.9 kilometre overland conveyor and upgrades to the existing Kestrel Coal Handling and Preparation Plant.
This will allow a new series of underground panels to be mined to the south of the existing operation.
Rio Tinto Kestrel coal mine facts
- Rio Tinto has operated the Kestrel Mine since 1999.
- The mine has around 115 million tonnes in coal reserves, providing options for ongoing mining.
- Kestrel South is expected to mine the longwall “400 series” panels until 2032.
- The extension uncovered its first glimpse of coal in July 2011 at a depth of around 250 metres.
- It has taken more than six million man hours to build and more than 3400 tonnes of steel have been used.
- At its peak in February/March 2013, the construction of the extension created 1500 jobs for employees and contractors.
- The Caterpillar shearer on the longwall can cut around 5000 tonnes of coal per hour.
- The 7.9 kilometre overland conveyor transports 3500 tonnes of coal every hour.
- Each coal train is capable of carrying 8400 tonnes of coal, travelling 300km from Kestrel Mine to the Port of Gladstone, where it will be loaded onto ships ready for export.
New coal mines planned for Queensland
A Rio Tinto spokesman was quoted as saying,”The coal industry in Queensland continues to look to the future and develop new mines while exporting record tonnages from the existing ones,”.
The Australian Treasurer said in July and August there had been a return to pre-Global Financial Crisis coal volumes tracking through the coal terminals and ports. The coal export total for the two months was just over 34 million tonnes and indications were that there would be good news regarding the September too.
Owing to the significant investment strategy by Rio Tinto over the past year or so, it was generally agreed that Kestrel extension had delivered one of the most sophisticated and advanced underground coking coal production operations in Australia.
Rio Tinto jobs
If you’re looking to break into the mining industry in Queensland with Rio Tinto, there’s a few things to consider.
- The Kestrel mine in in Queensland. If you are a new starter or a tradesperson looking to work in the industry you may have to complete a Standard 11 mining induction course.
- A Coal Board Medical is essential and is an Australian government initiative.
- Do your research on Rio Tinto coal mining operations – this information will help you understand what they do and where their mining operations are (not just the Kestrel mine). When you build your knowledge and gather information, you become more aware of the mining job opportunities.
- Read the Rio Tinto media releases and news items on their website – another good way to bring yourself up-to-speed.
- Rio Tinto is an Australian Stock Exchange listed company – you can go online and read their latest reports which will also give you clues as to where the company is heading in terms of exploration and development of new mines. This is exactly the information you need to plan your mining career.
- Search the mining jobs boards like SEEK and Career One for mining jobs with Rio Tinto and create SEEK mining job alerts. If you’re not sure how to do this, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you our ‘mining jobs search tips’ e-book for free.
- Search Google for rio tinto mining jobs. Choose the right keywords like ‘rio tinto mining jobs’, ‘rio tinto kestrel jobs’, mining jobs rio tinto queensland’. You’ll be amazed at how many mining jobs boards you can find that advertise Rio tinto positions.
- Go directly to the Rio Tinto website and search for Rio Tinto mining jobs on careers page.
- Before you apply for any mining job with Rio Tinto, you must review your resume and make sure it is targeted to the job being advertised and your resume also contains up-to-date information relating to your qualifications and experience. A well-written mining resume can make all the difference in the world when you need to get that all important interview.
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