Curragh mine at Blackwater.
Curragh mine at Blackwater. Photo supplied

300 new jobs for B'water mine

A NEW coal mining deal between Stanwell Corporation and Wesfarmers will see the Curragh mine at Blackwater expanded, creating up to 300 construction jobs.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the new agreement announced today between the State-owned corporation and Wesfarmers would also create 90 full-time positions in a long-term boost for the Central Queensland economy.

The deal allows coal from Stanwell’s excess reserves to be mined by Wesfarmers, with Stanwell to share in the revenue generated from exporting the coal.

The expansion will also pump an extra $18 million per annum in export royalties into state coffers.

Wesfarmers currently employs about 480 staff at its Curragh mine and the construction of its new coal handling and preparation plant by 2011 will create the additional 90 jobs.

The expansion is expected to increase annual exports of metallurgical coal from the mine from about 6.5 - 7 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to an estimated 8.3Mtpa.

Mr Fraser said the expansion by Wesfarmers would produce export royalties through to 2025.

“This agreement creates jobs, earns export income and financially benefits all Queenslanders through royalties paid to the State,” he said.

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten said it was great news for the region.

“The agreement between Stanwell and Wesfarmers is a vote of confidence in Central Queensland,” Mr Schwarten said.

“Mining is a critical industry in this region, and we all know it's been hard over the last 18 months.

“The new investment in Curragh will provide new jobs and security of employment in and around Blackwater, and show the rest of the country that Central Queensland is open for business.”

Mr Fraser said this agreement unlocked more of the value in the coal reserves held by Stanwell in excess of the requirements of Stanwell Power Station.

“Stanwell Power Station has a secure, cost competitive coal supply agreement in place to meet the future needs of the station.

“This agreement allows for Stanwell’s excess coal reserves to be mined and exported, providing a benefit to Wesfarmers, Stanwell and the State.”

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