2000 more Queensland jobs with new mine approval: Moranbah

A NEW Central Queensland mine project will be allowed to employ fly-in, fly-out workers as well as locals under strict workforce requirements.

The Coordinator-General has approved BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Red Hill Mining project north of Moranbah.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the BMA proposal would create 2000 construction jobs and 1500 operational jobs at peak production.

The Coordinator-General’s requirements forbid a 100% FIFO workforce, stipulate people from all regions can apply for jobs and calls for detailed and regular reporting on workforce composition and operations, along with an audit of existing housing capacity.

BMA intended to use a 100% FIFO workforce for Red Hill, following a track laid by its Daunia and Caval Ridge mines.

An end to 100% FIFO workforces was signalled by the former LNP Government following an intense campaign by Australian Regional Media, the publisher of this website.

The project involves construction of a new underground coal mine and expansion of the existing Broadmeadow and Goonyella-Riverside coal mines.

Dr Lynham said it would increase coal output from about 18 million to up to 32.5 million tonnes a year at the mining complex centred on Goonyella-Riverside.

The approval comes as a Queensland parliamentary inquiry investigates FIFO and drive-in, drive-out practices in regional Queensland.

“This development will provide a valuable job boost in Central Queensland regional communities and businesses, as well as the rest of the state,” Dr Lynham said.

“But it’s also critical that development takes into account the economic and social impact of 100% FIFO on resource communities.

“The Coordinator-General’s conditions represent a whole new approach to dealing with this workforce issue.”

He said the Coordinator-General had found that BMA’s EIS addressed the predicted outcomes, and he has set conditions to avoid, mitigate or offset these impacts, including groundwater, ecology, surface water, land impacts, traffic and transport, noise and air quality.

“The proposal now enters the next stage, which involves environmental authorities, public consultation, and potentially Land Court hearings,” Dr Lynham said.

Junior miner Atlas Iron to restart production at Mt Webber

Junior miner Atlas Iron will restart production at its Mt Webber mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara in July.

It expects the Mt Webber project to produce 6 million tonnes of iron ore per year for more than eight years.

In a statement issued by the ASX, Atlas said it would pay its contractor BCG Contracting between $17.1 million and $19.6 million in shares and cash to cover the termination costs of its Wodgina mining contract.

It will also cover the suspension, remobilisation and other costs for the Mount Webber mine.

Under the revised agreements, Atlas and BCG are aiming for cost savings of between 10 and 12 per cent, meaning the company’s break-even price would be approximately $US50 per dry metric tonne of iron ore.

That is compared to today’s market ore price of $US61.50.

Last month, Atlas announced it had reached a deal with its contractors to allow it to bring its three Pilbara mines back into production, after the tumbling iron ore price forced the company to halt production in April.

It also accepted a royalty relief package from the West Australian Government worth $12.5 million.

By Irena Ceranic
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-02/junior-miner-atlas-iron-to-restart-production-at-mt-webber/6516180

 

Fly-in, fly-out review to meet leaders in Mackay, Moranbah

A second review into fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) work practices in the mining industry will hold hearings in central Queensland this week.

Isaac regional council Mayor Anne Baker is part of a four-member panel looking at the use of the practice for mines which are located near a town.

The panel has already done interviews in Brisbane and will meet local representatives from councils, unions and businesses in Mackay today, and in Moranbah tomorrow.

Councillor Baker said so far the talks had been “robust”.

“What I can say is they have all been very open and there’s lots of information and we need to take all of the information on board and not pre-empt or form any position before we’ve got everything and we’ve met with all stakeholders and make an informed decision at the end,” she said.

Cr Baker said the discussions had been open and informative.

“From my perspective it’s very healthy for people to have different opinions and it’s just as healthy to be able to air those opinions and work towards formalising a healthy recommendation for everybody,” she said.

By Melissa Maddison
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-01/second-fifo-inquiry-to-hold-central-qld-hearings/6511054