Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the expansion of Queensland’s newest coal mine.
The $1.76 billion Byerwen mine will employ 350 people during construction and 500 in full production.
The expansion is a joint venture between QCoal and JFE Steel.
The Premier met with JFE Steel executives including President Yoshihisa Kitano on her Tokyo trade mission in May.
“This is a great day for Queensland and a great day for Queensland jobs,” the Premier said.
“JFE Steel is one of our biggest customers and partners and there simply is no other way to make steel than with metallurgical coal.”
The mine is located 20 kilometres west of Glenden in the Bowen Basin.
Production over the life of the Byerwen mine project is expected to rise from 3 million tonnes per annum to 10 million tonnes per annum.
JFE is one of Queensland’s biggest customers of coal, purchasing 15 million tonnes of metallurgical coal from Queensland.
The mining leases for the Byerwen coal project were granted in April 2017 under the Palaszczuk Government, facilitating the first mining operations to begin at the end of last year and the first shipment of metallurgical coal to the Fukuyama steel works in January this year.
This followed a visit by Premier Palaszczuk to the Fukuyama Steelworks in November 2016 and meetings with the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Coal at JFE steel to discuss progress on the Byerwen coal project.
JFE Steel investments support 3,500 jobs.
The Premier said it was another example of the government’s support for resources industries.
“My government has supported the growth of the resources industry, facilitating $20 billion worth of investment and more than 7000 jobs,” the Premier said.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said recent international trade data showed the value of coal and mineral exports was up by over 13 per cent on the previous year and LNG up by more than 40 per cent.
“Demand for Queensland resources will continue to grow, driven by global population growth,” Dr Lynham said.
“Queensland has a strong future when it comes to coal – demand for metallurgical coal will stay with us as customers like India and China and Japan continue to need steel.
“We have new projects with coordinated approval like Olive Downs and Winchester South near Moranbah.
“And of course, this means not just jobs now and into the future, but also royalties that help fund our teachers and nurses and police officers.”
The Byerwen coal project is just the first of a number of metallurgical coal projects being facilitated by the Palaszczuk Government.
The Coordinator-General is now progressing approvals on the $1 billion Olive Downs metallurgical coal mine 40 kilometres south east of Moranbah that will support 1,000 operational jobs and 500 construction jobs, and the $1 billion Winchester South coal project near Moranbah that will support another $1 billion of investment and 950 jobs.