A fossil fuel operation resumed production under new ownership in Queensland’s Western Downs region.
New Wilkie Energy (NWE) recently reopened the Wilkie Creek coal mine, 121km northwest of Toowoomba.
The mine was formerly owned by Peabody Energy and placed into care and maintenance back in the year 2014. The company sold the asset to NWE during July 2021.
The new owner indicated it would not only retain the existing workforce of 300 full-time employees and contractors but also hire 50 new recruits in the next 12 to 18 months. Locals from Dalby, Chinchilla and surrounding cities are desirable.
NWE also plans to repurpose old mine areas for solar projects. For now capital works are continuing and expected to end within months. Thermal coal production is expected to ramp up to about 2.4 million tonnes per annum. First shipment to Asia is likely to begin in the second half of 2023 via the Port of Brisbane.
“We have also signed the rail haulage agreement with Aurizon. Queensland Rail, Aurizon and Queensland Bulk Handling are our strategic partners in our logistics infrastructure,” NWE managing director Gary Williams said in a public statement.
“Now that critical milestones have been attained finance for the project is expected to close shortly as arranged by Archibald Capital and Imperial Capital.”