A NEW $2 billion mine set to employ more than 500 people and deliver about 10 million tonnes of hard coking coal will be officially opened in the Bowen Basin this morning.
The QCoal Group-owned Byerwen coal mine will be unveiled by Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who described it as being symbolic of the resilience of Queensland’s coal industry.
“It also enhances our trade relationships with other nations which rely on our high quality coking coal to produce the steel they need to grow and prosper,” Mr Canavan said.
“Coal from the mine will be exported to Japan, Europe, India and a number of South East Asian markets for use in steel production and in some cases, the continued industrialisation and development of those countries.”
QCoal Group managing director Christopher Wallin said the mine, which has been operating since 2017, had a potential lifespan of more than 50 years.
He said about 1000 people were employed on site during construction and there was a permanent workforce of more than 500 during operation.
“In addition, the Byerwen Coal Mine has a strong track record of indigenous employment, peaking at 14 per cent during construction and 5 per cent in operations.”
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry praised the employment boost the mine provided the region.
“Every one of those workers embodies the prosperity created by our mining sector, the advantages it brings to Australia and the resilience of regional communities in Queensland,” she said.
The mine is expected to secure the future of the nearby mining community of Glenden, about 166km west of Mackay.
In late 2017, construction activity at the site revived the community, which was reportedly in “death throes” prior to that and had a population of about 620 people.
The mine is a joint venture between Japan’s JFE Steel and the QCoal Group, which is the only privately-owned supplier of premium hard coking coal in Australia.