THE mining and resources downturn is over and thousands of jobs are coming back to the industry, with an injection of up to $13 billion in new and revived projects.
With the Adani coal project back on track after a State Cabinet agreement was reached late on Friday on a new royalty payment scheme, Queensland can look forward to a number of projects – some of which have ¬already started – in a revival of the industry after five years of the doldrums. There are now concerns in the industry of a skills shortage.
Red River is about to restart production at its Thalanga lead-zinc mine near Charters Towers and managing director Mel Palancian said that would mean about 100 to 120 jobs, mostly for locals. The mine closed in 2012 when its then owners Kagara Zinc collapsed.
About 65 workers are on site at Thalanga. Production is expected to start about October with an expected mine life of about five years. Rio Tinto’s $2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine is well into construction. It will replace the depleting resources at the nearby Weipa mine.
In the coal sector, QCoal and JFE Steel have combined to start the Byerwen coal mine, a $1.7 billion project that will create hundreds of jobs, and BHP has committed to an expansion of its Caval Ridge mine. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the latest data showed jobs in the coal and exploration sectors had grown by more than 3000 in the six months to November.
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