150 locals not FIFO workers to benefit from Stanmore plan

FIRST in line for the 150 jobs created at a new Stanmore Coal mine will be workers from Moranbah and Mackay.

On Wednesday news broke that the Isaac Plains coal mine 6km east of Moranbah would reopen in February.

Gladstone-based Golding Contractors was awarded its contract late Wednesday afternoon and principal mining engineer Dylan Pieters said it would look to employ “those living closest to the mine”.

“To get a mining contract in this current market is a really good thing,” Mr Pieters said.

“We want to employ people where the mine is at and we’ve already started advertising some of the positions.”

But he said the bulk of the new jobs would be advertised soon, through seek.com and the company website.

Stanmore Coal’s managing director Nick Jorss said the company would not employ FIFO workers “because it did not suit the business model”, particularly with the mine on track to be one of the world’s lowest-cost metallurgical coal mines.

He planned to reduce the cost of production for each tonne of coal by around 35% compared to the mine’s previous performance.

Buying the mine for just $1 in July was a major cost-saving but Mr Jorss said it would also change its operation method.

“The model is definitely changing,” Mr Jorss said.

“We are changing the method and maximising the amount of dragline.

“Moving overburden with dragline reduces costs.”

More than $7 million in royalties, in addition to state and federal government taxes, would flow back to the state.

After the mine reopens in February Mr Jorss said the first coal shipments should leave in April, en route to Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

He hoped the mine would have a 10-year lifespan.

During that time it would set aside $32 million for the rehabilitation of the mine site.

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/fifo-not-part-of-firms-plan/2876997/

Bargain Isaac Plains coal mine returns with 150 jobs

A MORANBAH coal mine bought for $1 earlier this year will soon provide job opportunities for 150 local workers.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said she met with Isaac Plains coal mine owner Stanmore Coal on Tuesday when they announced a scheduled opening in February 2016.

While she would not say if the mine had totally ruled out all elements of a fly-in, fly-out workforce, she was given “absolute confidence local people will be able to apply and work there”.

“It’s going to be open to everyone,” Cr Baker said.

“They never mentioned FIFO. There are 150 positions and everyone is welcome to apply.”

The mayor hailed the project, 6km east of Moranbah, as a boost for industry, local workers and the community.

Moranbah Bakery owner Steve Hanvey said if local workers really were prioritised for the jobs the project would be a “beaut thing for the town”.

“My partner was doing deliveries the other day and at the petrol station she saw five families packed up to leave town,” Mr Hanvey said.

“We need support and we’ve had a lot of doom and gloom for a long time.

“I have all 10 of my fingers crossed and my arms crossed that these jobs will go ahead and there will be more to come.”

The Moranbah resident of 24 years said it wouldn’t just be the workers who benefited but the whole community.

The mine was open-cut and Cr Baker said “real time air quality monitoring” would be in place for Moranbah residents.

Stanmore Coal bought Isaac Plains Mine from Vale and Sumitomo in July for $1, more than a year after about 300 jobs were lost when production halted in 2014.

After a program of exploration and refurbishment, Stanmore Coal will begin mining activities following government approvals.

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/bargain-coal-mine-returns-with-150-jobs/2875881/

More than 100 miners sacked from Moranbah mine site

A WEEK before Christmas, 108 contract workers at Central Queensland’s Isaac Plains Mine near Moranbah have been told their jobs were gone.

Those given the news on Tuesday will have just weeks before the work disappears.

International contracting firm John Holland was told by the masters of Isaac Plains – Japanese powerhouse Sumitomo and Brazilian mining firm Vale – that the mine would produce less coal in the coming year.

After being given written confirmation, John Holland delivered the news to workers.

Some of those 108 may be re-deployed, either at Isaac Plains or elsewhere, but the spokeswoman for John Holland would not say how many.

She conceded it was “very difficult timing” to announce the cuts so close to Christmas.

“We felt it was preferable to advise affected workers prior to the holidays so they can spend time with their families over Christmas and plan accordingly,” she said.

According to John Holland, workers would be given their full entitlements.

They will also be given counselling and help to find new jobs if they want it.

The news caps off a demoralising year for coal mine workers in Australia, with major multinational mining firms publicly declaring a war on costs.

Falling coal prices – both for energy and metal-making – galvanised companies into cutting contractors and occasionally staff.

In the past 12 months, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance closed two costly mine projects in the region as Rio Tinto shut down its 30-year-old Blair Athol mine.

An improvement in the export markets is predicted in 2013 but resource giants are keeping their knives sharp as they hunt for ways to save money.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union district president Stephen Smyth said owners had made a “knee-jerk decision”.

“Vale and Sumitomo could be doing better by their workforce rather than forcing the sacking of a large swathe of them during the hardest time of the year for miners to find new employment,” Mr Smyth said.

Mr Smyth said the CFMEU would do everything it could to ensure workers were paid the proper entitlements from John Holland.

http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/more-100-miners-sacked-moranbah-mine-site/1688975/