Undated : Workers inspect a massive dragline bucket at the Curragh coal mine owned by Wesfarmers Ltd. in central Qld : PicEvan/Collis /Bloomberg /News - industry mining machinery
Undated : Workers inspect a massive dragline bucket at the Curragh coal mine owned by Wesfarmers Ltd. in central Qld : PicEvan/Collis /Bloomberg /News - industry mining machinery

$100m mine expansion pushes workforce near 2000

A $100 million expansion at one of Queensland's largest metallurgical coalmines will boost production and employment in the Bowen Basin.

Coronado Global Resources yesterday announced expansion plans for the mine, 30km north of Blackwater, after a comprehensive 12-month review of operations.

Coronado managing director Gerry Spindler said the company expected to unlock "considerable value" from the mine with output increasing to 15 million tonnes a year by 2023, up from the 12.9 million tonnes forecast for 2023 under Coronado's prospectus.

"This new mine plan clearly demonstrates the attractive qualities of this asset and the many opportunities we have to unlock considerable value over the next five to 10 years and beyond," he said.

The expansion could potentially add up to 200 new jobs, including during the construction phase, taking the total workforce including contractors at Curragh close to 1900.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the expansion was "more good news" for Queensland's resources sector and another sign of strength for the long term future of resources jobs in regional communities.

"Queensland's resource sector is a building block of regional Queensland and a building block of the state's economy," he said.

"Demand for Queensland's metallurgical coal is strong as the world continues to build infrastructure to meet the needs of modern cities.

 

QRC chief Ian Macfarlane. Picture: AAP image, John Gass
QRC chief Ian Macfarlane. Picture: AAP image, John Gass

 

"Our metallurgical coal is used to make steel which is needed for bridges in Europe and skyscrapers in Asia."

Coronado bought Curragh from Wesfarmers in March last year for $US537 million ($793 million).

The expansion is expected to cost between $US80 million and $US108.5 million , or around $US50 to $US55 for each new tonne of capacity.

That compares to average installed costs of around $US150 a tonne for other new coal developments.

Coronado is one of the world's largest producers of high-quality metallurgical coal and also owns coal mines in the US.

The company yesterday posted a net profit of $US214.3 million, up 92.7 per cent, based off a 54.1 per cent jump in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $US405.4 million.



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