Mine expansion a boost for Gladstone and WICET

A MINE expansion in the Baralaba community worth $313 million will send coal to be exported out of the new Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal in Gladstone when it comes online.

Cockatoo Coal is one of the eight owners of the WICET consortium, and the first part of the mine expansion will enable Cockatoo Coal to expand coal production from about 700,000 tonnes a year to about a one million tonnes of metallurgical coal a year.

This will climb to 3.5 million tonnes per annum by 2015.

The expansion creates 200 new jobs for the region over the next two years and the company has committed to largely sourcing local workers.

Cockatoo Coal CEO Andrew Lawson said the coal from the mine's expansion would be exported initially 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."

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said Cockatoo Coal's $313 million investment demonstrated Queensland's coal industry had a prosperous, competitive 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," he said.

Mr Seeney said the company was a good corporate citizen, and its investment in the town of Baralaba and the wider central Queensland region had improved the region's infrastructure.



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