One dollar coal mine reopens, creates new jobs

The Isaac Plains coal mine reopened yesterday, highlighting the promising long term prospects for the state’s resources sector.

The mine, recently acquired by Stanmore Coal for a dollar, had been put into care and maintenance in 2014 by previous owners Vale and Sumitomo due to low coal prices.

First coal was produced at the operation in April 2016.

QLD premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said despite difficulties in the mining sector, demand remained strong for the state’s resources and expertise.

“As the re-opening of Isaac Plains here in Central Queensland shows, investors still have confidence in Queensland,” she said.

“We have new faces, like Stanmore Coal, and new investors who are calling the bottom of the market, stepping up and creating jobs, like the 150 jobs here at Isaac plains.”

She added that other major companies including QGC and Rio Tinto are investing billions of dollars in gas and bauxite, where the markets are stronger.

Minister for natural resources and mines Anthony Lynham said the government was aware of sustained lower prices, particularly in coal, and the flow on effects it had for regional communities.

He added that initiatives like the 50 per cent exploration expenditure discount as well as ongoing royalties freezes and low payroll tax rates had to be nurtured.

“The Coordinator-General’s powers to cut red tape are available to support businesses, as has happened here at Isaac plains, with the Carmichael coal mine, rail and port project and at MMG’s Dugald River in the north west.”

Stanmore Coal’s Isaac Plains East expansion has also been declared a prescribed project, which Lynham said will help extend the life of their existing open cut operation to more than 10 years and possibly expanding it into an underground operation in the future.

It comes only weeks after the state also declared MMG’s Dugald River zinc mine a prescribed project.

“Our government supports the sustainable development of our resources for the jobs and economic development this offers and we will keep working hard to support companies like Stanmore Coal turn their plans into reality.”

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