More than 8000 people have applied for 250 jobs advertised by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance for its Bowen Basin coal mines.
A BMA spokeswoman said the demand for the fly-in fly-out roles in far north Queensland was ‘overwhelming’.
“The applications for these roles have closed and BMA received an overwhelming response from people in the Cairns region, including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with limited coal-mining experience,” she said.
“The recruitment team is working through the next stage of the recruitment process. The team will also soon be conducting a series of assessment centres (interviews) in Cairns as the next important step in the recruitment process.”
The recruits will start work mid- year, the spokeswoman said.
BMA reserved a quarter of the 1000 jobs advertised for tradesmen and women from the Cairns area, cairns.com.au reported.
Around 14,000 Brisbane-based tradespeople have already applied for the remaining 750 jobs.
The positions ask for qualified local tradespeople and experience is not compulsory.
The jobs include truck, dozer, grader, shovel and processing plant operators, electricians, filter/mechanics and boilermakers.
The jobs offer an ‘attractive’ seven-on seven-off roster at the Dauniaor Caval Ridgemines, access to newest technology and equipment, career progression, and accommodation in a modern village while working.
BMA will have to hire around four more flights from Cairns Airport a week to transport staff to and from their workplaces in central Queensland.
Earlier, the company’s asset president Stephen Dumble said the successful applicants would inject about $40 million in wages from the coal mine back to their home city.
He added the economic spin-offs would inject more than $60 million a year through the services needed to support the jobs and the families of the employees, such as rental.
BMA is the state’s largest regional employer with around 10,000 mining workers in central Queensland.
But a dearth in skilled workers in the established mining towns means the company is searching for staff in the far north and southeast of Queensland.
Earlier this year, applicants swarmed BMA with 18,000 applications for 1,100 positions on the Caval Ridge and Daunia mines near Moranbah.