Premier launches coal mine project

PREMIER Peter Beattie launched a $290 million "unique'' Central Queensland coal mining project yesterday that offers up to 100 new jobs and will play a role in reducing electricity prices.

The Curragh North Project, 200km west of Rockhampton, and 14km north of Blackwater, is a major mining expansion operated by the Wesfarmers group ? under arrangement with original leaseholder Stan-well Corporation.

"This unique venture also offers a pricing structure for the State-owned Stanwell Power Station that enables it to keep electricity costs at a minimum,'' the Premier said on-site at Curragh North.

"Curragh North creates jobs, earns export income and financially benefits all Queenslanders through royalties and rail freights paid to the state.''

Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce said apart from being a major expansion the project offered more new jobs and work security in Blackwater.

The expansion extends the life of the Curragh project from an originally anticipated closure in 2003 to 2026. It began in 1983. The Stanwell contract has been extended to 2026.

When complete the project means 75 to 100 new full-time jobs.

In addition, Curragh will continue to produce 2.5 million tonnes of thermal coal a year for Stanwell power station. The Premier said that the project was now in a position to ultimately be expanded to produce 10 million tonnes of coal a year.



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