Taroborah Coal Project wants to hire local workers

A company proposing a coal project 22 kilometres west of Emerald said they want to employ locals and not FIFO workers if the mine gets the go ahead.

Shenhuo International Group wants to develop an open-cut and underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin.

The company held an information session for locals last week which saw more than 100 people at the Emerald Town Hall to learn about the project, CQ News reported.

"We were happy that so many people came along to find out about the project," project manager Dave Thomas said.

Thomas said the two topics that provoked the most interest were employment opportunities and possible impacts on groundwater.

"We certainly had a lot of people interested in working at the mine, with some even bringing their resumes," he said.

The mine is expected to create between 250 and 330 jobs in the production phase.

"Our preferred option is to have a locally employed workforce, rather than a FIFO operation," Thomas said.

"But we still have to do more work to ensure that this approach is viable. A lot depends on the available workforce."

The mine is expected to have a life-span of 25 years and produce 5.1 million tonnes of coal a year.

Calls by Shenhuo to look at the viability of employing locals comes amid anger in the region at BHP’s decision to use a 100 per cent FIFO workforce for its two new mines.

As Australian Mining reported last week the miners decision to hire outside of the local community has enraged locals, the unions as well as the wider mining community at large.

With two coal mines in Bowen Basin about to start production, it was widely hoped that BHP would source the 1000 employees needed for the project from the surrounding areas of Moranbah, Dysart, Mackay and Rockhampton.

Instead the workers will be flown in from Cairns and Brisbane. In what comes as a slap in the face for Bowen Basin locals, the miner set aside 250 vacancies exclusively for tradespeople from the Cairns region while 14,000 Brisbane-based tradies have already applied for the remaining 750 jobs.