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Jobs flow as resources prices rise

Underground mine jobs

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has welcomed the new jobs and business opportunities flowing in regional Queensland as coking coal mines reopen on the back of rising prices.

Gregory Crinum mine near Emerald will come out of mothballs after more than two years following its sale by BMA to Japanese-based Sojitz Coal Resources.

Dr Lynham said up to 300 jobs would be created as the mine reached full operational capacity of 3 million tonnes of coking coal for steelmaking.

“This is great news for the Central Highlands, where Sojitz is already a significant employer as the owner and operator of nearby Minerva Mine and more recently commenced operations at Meteor Downs,” he said.

“It’s also pleasing that Sojitz will be accelerating rehabilitation at the site.

“This is a reflection of Queensland premium coking coal prices, now at more than $A240 compared to A$115 two years ago, as well as confidence in Queensland as a resources investment destination.”

Today’s announcement by BMA and Sojitz follows Perth-headquartered international South32 announcing an agreement to take a controlling stake in another development ready coking coal project.

South 32 plans to work with JV holder Aquila Resources to fast track the optimised development of Eagle Downs underground mine near Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, where early construction works were started but stopped in late 2015. Both transactions are targeted to close later this year.

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