Decision in BMA FIFO fight

A decision has finally been handed down on BMA’s application for a 100% FIFO workforce at its Caval Ridge coal mine.

Co-ordinator general Keith Davies announced that 80% of its workforce across all of its operation must reside in the region, the ABC reports.

It comes quickly after Davies office announced that it may take months to come to a decision.

Due to this, BMA may still be able source FIFO workers as 100% of its workforce.

However, it may not be able to do the same at its Daunia coal operations. 

The approval for its Caval Ridge mine is conditional upon BMA building 400 dwellings, with approximately 160 to be built in nearby Moranbah by June 2013 and an additional 240 to be constructed across the entire Bowen basin over the next four years.

“The new conditioning will ensure choice for employees across the operations and that the majority of employees will reside in the community in line with government’s recently released Major Resource Project Housing Policy,” Davies explained.

BMA also received approval for its 2500 person Buffel Park Accommodation village, which will house FIFO workers.

However, despite the decision, local community group Moranbah Action Group (MAG) labelled the decision a “slap in the face”, the Daily Mercury reported.

“Caval Ridge can still proceed as a 100% forced FIFO operation,” MAG chair Kelly Vea Vea said.

“It appears to us that the government is more interested in royalties that people; more interested in BHP profits than positive outcomes for the community. Our community has donated hundreds of hours to being a constructive stakeholder in this process… and it is clear the government has simply acted as a rubber stamp for BMA’s $50 billion dollar money tree in the Caval Ridge Mine.”

While BHP metallurgical coal president Hubie van Dalsen said these new conditions do allow for 100% FIFO at Caval Ridge, the miner is yet to come to a final decision on its workforce.

“We expect to make a final decision in the fourth quarter of this (calendar) year,” van Dalsen said.

“The single most important thing for the community is that the Caval Ridge project goes ahead – without workers it can’t go ahead.”

Approval for the operation also requires BMA to provide $8 million in funding for the community.

 Image: Daily Mercury

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.