First coal has been struck and is set to be shipped to steelmakers across the globe by the end of the year from the re-born Millennium metallurgical coal mine at Coppabella, the latest in a boom of job creating resources projects green lit by the Palaszczuk Government.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart joined joint venture partners M Resources and Stanmore Resources at the official opening of the $464 million underground mine, which the partners bought and re-started in July, creating 330 jobs.
Speaking at the mine near Moranbah, Resources Minister Scott Stewart welcomed the confidence of the 50/50 joint venture partners – together known as MetRes – in Queensland as an investment destination.
“Millennium is a home-grown Maroon success story, with Queensland-made companies stepping up to generate Queensland jobs at a pivotal time for the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan from COVID-19,” Minister Stewart said.
“Queensland has high quality resources, a skilled workforce and world-class infrastructure but it takes investors to turn these into jobs and business opportunities in our regional communities.
“We support the vision of Queensland companies and investors who are able to innovate, utilising these resources and making them available to the world.”
Chair of MetRes, Matt Latimore, said he was pleased to see the opening of the mine.
“Millennium Mine is heading into fortunate times with high prices and a world hungry for metallurgical coal resources,” he said.
“Millennium will make high quality coal for steel making available to our trading partners which will support a global green energy transition.
“Every turbine, solar panel, energy transmission upgrade, every hydrogen pipeline and storage tank requires steel.
“As the world invests in a low emissions future, there will only be more demand for Queensland’s premium coking coal.
“With the continued support of the Queensland Government and our partners, we are looking forward to being part of the solution.”
Mr Latimore said he was particularly pleased to have an emphasis on local employment, with around 75 per cent of the Millennium Mine’s operating workforce coming from Central Queensland.
The Millennium mine commenced operations in August, 17 months after being mothballed by previous owner Peabody Energy.
First coal was struck two weeks ago and production is forecast to rise to more than 1.2 million tonnes per year from July 2022.
The mine is supporting 100 jobs during construction and more than 230 ongoing full-time jobs.
Minister Stewart said Queensland’s resources sector had been a steady source of employment and economic security for Queenslanders for the past 12 months.
“Despite the global pandemic, an average of almost 80,000 people have been employed in mining over the past year – a 21 per cent increase on the same period the previous year,” he said.
“Now we see five new and re-opened mines in Queensland in just under four months, together supporting more than 1500 jobs.”
Stanmore opened its new Isaac Downs mine on its Isaac Plains complex near Moranbah in August, supporting up to 550 jobs.
The Vulcan open cut metallurgical coal mine, also near Moranbah, received its final approvals in September, and will support up to 150 jobs.
In the North-West Minerals Province, the mothballed Rocklands copper mine near Cloncurry will return to full production this month, supporting up to 150 jobs.
Multicom Resources starts construction next year on its $250 million Saint Elmo vanadium mine near Julia Creek, supporting up to 400 regional jobs.
Another $1 billion resources project is also on the cards: the $1 billion Winchester South coal mine 30km southeast of Moranbah, forecast to create 1000 new jobs and generate more than $500 million in royalties.