New mining tech brings hundreds of coal jobs
MORE than 230 coal mining jobs have been secured for the next eight years after a decision from a major employer. And it's all thanks to new mining technology.
Peabody Energy, which owns the North Goonyella coal mine near Moranbah, says it will invest millions of dollars to extend the mine.
Peabody president - Australia George J. Schuller Jr said to support the mine's extension, the company was investing in a new longwall system, featuring a 300m face conveyor and advanced longwall technology.
"Not only does that improve safety for our operators, it enables faster haulage speeds of our high-quality reserves," Mr Schuller said.
Mr Schuller said Peabody was pleased to be able to continue to provide employment for people in regional and remote locations.
"Any opportunity we have to support the local community through jobs and investment is a win for us, and we certainly feel we will be able to do this at our North Goonyella Coal Mine for many years to come," he said.
Federal LNP members from Central Queensland welcomed the news.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the announcement provided certainty to coal families around Moranbah.
"Central Queensland's coal industry continues to strengthen on the back of high demand from around the world," she said.
"The North Goonyella South Project will create billions in export revenue when it is fully operational next year.
"That's good news for Moranbah, with more money flowing into local businesses - from the supermarket, to the pub, to the mechanic."
Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said coal remained a vital export earner for Australia.
"This mine produces premium quality coking coal for steelmaking and meets a strong demand for growing economies in Asia," he said.
"The latest Queensland Resources Council State of the Sector report shows very healthy investment in projects in the Bowen Basin and a surge in greenfield exploration. Jobs in the Mackay region grew by 7.5 per cent in the year to April 2018."
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said it was welcome news for the mine workforce, local businesses who supply the mine, their families, and their communities.
"I note that Peaody says their new longwall also enables future opportunities for mine extension post-2026," he said.
North Goonyella produces coking coal to make steel, exporting to Peabody's long-term steal-making customers in India.
Operator Peabody is extending the mine's life from 2019 to 2026, using advanced longwall technology.
Dr Lynham said this was further proof of confidence in Queensland as a resources investment target.
"Stronger prices, stable government and policy, and access to world class infrastructure, workers and supply chains is driving investor confidence," Dr Lynham said.
"We are seeing mines reopening that have been in care and maintenance, like Gregory Crinum Mine by new owners Sojitz, and South 32's Eagle Downs mine.
"We have new mines opening, and advanced mines passing to smaller, leaner mining companies who can extract value.
"All of this means jobs and business opportunities in regional Queensland, and royalties for frontline services like teachers in schools and nurses in hospitals around the state.
"I congratulate Peabody and its employees on their future."