New mine could create 1000 jobs

A NEW mine in Central Queensland could create more than 1000 jobs if exploration is successful.

Premier Peter Beattie welcomed the signing of an agreement to undertake an exploration study at the massive Belvedere Coal Underground Project near Moura.

Belvedere is estimated to contain 2.7 billion tonnes of hard coking coal.

It would create 500 jobs during construction and then 500 operational jobs.

The mine could potentially produce up to 12 million tonnes of hard coking coal per year, with a mine life of more than 40 years.

Based on current coal prices, it would generate about $1 billion a year in revenue.

Premier Beattie made the announcement in an address to the 2005 Major Projects Conference.

The exploration will be backed by Brazilian resources giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) ? the world's largest iron ore producer.

CVRD will pay $2.5 million to Aquila Resources Limited and AMCI Holdings Australia to undertake the exploration study.

"It's significant that one of the world's largest mining companies is investing in Queensland,'' Mr Beattie said. The coal will be exported at Gladstone.

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