Blair Athol coal mine will re-open by the end of June, according to new owner TerraCom – announcing the transfer of operations from Rio Tinto today.
The mining lease acquisition by TerraCom subsidiary Orion Mining has been fully approved by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and includes related licences, land, site infrastructure, active contracts and all mining plant and equipment, including a dragline.
Recommencing mining at Blair Athol – which was the state’s first open-cut coal mine – is expected to generate 150 direct jobs and a further 450 indirect jobs in the region.
Orion Mining chairman and TerraCom board member Jim Soorley said reopening the mine would create hundreds of jobs in the region and the strong coal prices would provide significant taxes and royalties to the Queensland Government.
“TerraCom is committed to providing employment opportunities for local workers in the region, rather than operating a fly-in-fly-out workforce and the company will also relocate its head office to modern facilities in Clermont,” he said.
“The completion of transfer of ownership of Blair Athol Mine is not only great news for TerraCom but is great news for the community of Clermont and the state of Queensland, with up to $80 million in taxes and royalties to flow from the re-opened mine operation and with the recommencement of rehabilitation activities.”
The mine has been mothballed since 2012 but the equipment on site has been maintained and is ready to start operations.
TerraCom has built and commissioned a $150 million coking coal mine in the Gobi desert Mongolia, which employs 350 people. It recently signed a 5.5 year deal to sell more than $1 billion worth of coal from that mine into China.