Revived Red Hill mine to create 3500 jobs

The Red Hill mining project in Central Queensland that was dumped last year has been revived, and could generate 3500 jobs.

The State Government said BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance Red Hill wished to modify its mining lease application over the Red Hill tenement near Moranbah for an extension of three longwall panels at the Broadmeadow underground mine.

This could mean an extra five million tonnes of coal, according to The Queensland Times.

They are also looking at future development at the nearby Goonyella Riverside mine.

The news comes as Coal India is in negotiations with two unnamed Australian companies for a $4 billion purchasing deal of thermal coal mines.

The State Government said this would permit development of the Red Hill mine with production capacity of around 14 million tonnes a year.

That capacity qualifies the project as a mega-project group, together with the thermal coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the project would generate about 2000 jobs in construction and an additional 1500 in operation.

The project will have to receive environmental consent and had been categorised as a coordinated project for assessment by the co-ordinator general.

The project was initiated in 2008, but was abandoned last year due to ‘challenging external environment’, according to BMA.

The plan was dumped due to market conditions, the Courier Mail reports.

The dumping followed a statement in the company’s profit announcement last year that no major projects would be approved in 2012-13.

Study on the expansion was cancelled and BMA withdrew the project from the Federal Government’s environmental approvals process, along with the Saraji East coal development.

BHP Billiton also closed Gregory coal mine in the Bowen Basin last year, as well as its Norwich Park coal mine.

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