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Coal mine reopens after securing $220M lifeline

Glencore coal

A foreign owned resources operation will resume work thanks to new funding.

About $220 million will help restart production at Lanco Infratech’s Griffin Coal Mine.

The Western Australian Government invested the money to prevent the operation’s “sudden” closure, after its India-headquartered proponent collapsed with more than $1 billion of debt. Deloitte’s initial attempts to revive the business failed, prompting financial advisory partner Matt Donnelly to explore other “formal” processes.

“It is disappointing that the private companies involved in Griffin have been unable to find a commercial solution to their problems, despite significant support from government,” State Premier Roger Cook said in a public statement.

“A sudden closure of the Griffin mine would see hundreds of workers lose their jobs overnight and put at risk the stability of our electricity system. Put simply, I will not let that happen. We will always put local jobs first.”

The operation employs nearly 270 direct, labour hire and contract workers. It has faced various wet weather, machine breakdown, overburden and profitability challenges.

Product coal is supplied to industry and Japan-owned Bluewaters Power Station, which produces more than 15 per cent of the Golden State’s electricity.

The State Government previously provided $39.3M in assistance to the mine. The latest package will keep the operation running until at least June 2026.

Meanwhile, State Energy, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston stepped down from Cabinet and revealed he would not contest the 2025 election.

“By the time of the next election I will have served WA Labor in a full-time role for more than 27 years. I think that is a long time for anyone and certainly long enough for me,” he said.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) thanked the minister for his “fervent” advocacy.

“The minerals and energy sectors are part of our DNA, so it is a tribute to Minister Johnston that he has recognised – and fought for – the potential of this state,” CME CEO Rebecca Tomkinson said.

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