Queensland coal industry boosted by a $313m expansion program at Cockatoo’s Baralaba mine

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Image credit: Flickr User: eastcolfax

Cockatoo Coal has completed its $313 million Baralaba mine expansion program which will expand the company’s coal production from about 700,000 tonnes of metallurgical coal a year to about a million tonnes a year, and eventually,  to 3.5 million tonnes per annum by 2015.

Image credit: Flickr User:  eastcolfax
Image credit: Flickr User:
eastcolfax

The Baralaba community in Central Queensland has welcomed the mine expansion program which is expected to create 200 new jobs for the region over the next two years.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said in a statement that mining had been an integral part of Baralaba since the early 1900s and the mine’s growth would bring prosperity to the region for decades.

“Our government is pleased to have played an active role in the mine’s expansion which has delivered on our election promise to grow the resource pillar of our economy. Importantly this expansion will create 200 new jobs for this region over the next two years and I welcome Cockatoo Coal’s commitment to largely source local workers,” he said.

According to him, Cockatoo Coal’s $313 million investment illustrated that Queensland’s coal industry had a bright future.

“Queensland coal is rightly regarded as among the world’s best and Cockatoo Coal’s expansion of its operations demonstrates the company’s confidence for the future. The government is pleased to have played an active role in the project’s development through providing case management support and having declared it a prescribed project.

“This enabled the streamlining of the complex approvals process involving local, state and federal governments. Cockatoo Coal has also benefited from green-tape reduction measures announced last year.”

Cockatoo Coal CEO Andrew Lawson said the coal from the mine’s expansion would be exported to Japan and Korean markets.

“This coal will be exported through the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal in Gladstone, bound for Japan and Korea for steel making purposes, with future opportunities in China, Taiwan and India,” Mr Lawson said.

“Baralaba has a long history as a mining town and about half of our company people come from Baralaba and the surrounding district, so I see this growth as a real positive for the community.”