Glencore’s Collinsville mine in northwest Queensland is restarting production aiming to hire up to 200 workers.
Collinsville is one of the state’s oldest coal mines, having been in operation for almost 100 years. In December 2015 Glencore cut production due to low thermal coal prices, with the 230-strong workforce reduced by 180, and 140 redeployed to other Glencore sites.
“While Glencore has scaled back production at Collinsville this year, we have continued to assess a range of options for the mine in conjunction with monitoring coal market demand,” the company said.
“We are now seeing increased demand from South-East Asia for the specific type of coal produced by Collinsville.”
Tony Galvin, head of Glencore’s open cut coal business in Queensland, acknowledged the difficulties the company faced in order to maintain the mine’s long term viability.
“Our Collinsville mine has made material progress in increasing operational efficiencies and reducing costs in the current market and the decision to return to production is positive news for the local community and the wider region,” he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the announcement saying it was good news for the state.
“This is yet another piece of positive news for the north and ongoing evidence of green shoots appearing in the resources sector,” she said.
Natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham also applauded the move, particularly as the recruitment process will focus on locals in the area.
“Our regional resource communities have been doing it tough and positive developments like this reverberate through the whole community and local businesses,” he said.