THE financial buy-in earlier this year by mining giant New Hope has set Maryborough’s Colton Coal Mine project on track for a start as early as next year.
Job applications are now being processed to help fill the 100 positions the mine will create and current mine workers already living on the Fraser Coast are at the head of the queue.
The long-awaited project has taken off since Ipswich-based coal company New Hope bought 59% of shares from Northern Energy Corporation (NEC) with a $238 million cash bid in February this year.
Acting chief executive officer of NEC, Shane Stephan, said the buy-in had provided the extra capital needed to get the project off the ground.
“The major change has been that the project has been reinvigorated now that New Hope has taken over,” Mr Stephan said.
“New Hope is very large and has the resources needed to get it going.”
Once it was up and running, the mine was set to inject about $20 million a year into the Maryborough economy in wages and local services.
“The key message is we are collecting resumes and the preference is for applications from appropriately qualified local people,” Mr Stephan said.
The site at Colton, north of Maryborough, covers just more than 1000 hectares and the company expected to mine about five million tonnes of coking coal in eight to 10 years.
“We are currently undertaking exploration drilling, and a follow-up environmental management plan is being lodged with the Department of Environment and Resource Management,” Mr Stephan said.
Following the plan’s approval, a public notification process would take place and the final paperwork would be completed to grant the mining lease.
“Once the lease is granted, which could be in the last quarter of 2012, we should be looking at starting work,” Mr Stephan said.
The coal would be sent by rail to Gladstone for export, initially through Barney Point and later through the Wiggins Island terminal.
COLTON MINE FAST FACTS
- The project will boost the Maryborough economy by about $20 million a year.
- About 100 jobs will be created for local plant operators, truck driver, electricians, surveyors and more.
- The mine at Colton will be built near the site of a historic mine that operated from the late 1800s to the 1990s.
- About half-a-million tonnes of coking coal will be extracted every year, for an estimated 10 years.
- The mine is expected to open late next year.
To register interest in a job at the mine, visit www.northernenergy.com.au/work_with_us
Sourced from the local Fraser Coast Chronicle newspaper