Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has officially opened the Byerwen coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, an operation which will deliver around 10 million tonnes of hard coking coal to be used in steel production in overseas markets each year.
Minister Canavan said today’s official opening of the QCoal Group-owned mine symbolised the resilience of Queensland’s coal industry, which delivered more than $3 billion in direct wages, $3.8 billion in royalties and almost 37,000 jobs for the state in 2017-18.
“This mine has already contributed significantly to the region’s job numbers and will continue to do so over its potential 50-year lifespan,” Minister Canavan said.
“It also enhances our trade relationships with other nations which rely on our high quality coking coal to produce the steel they need to grow and prosper.
“Coal from the mine will be exported to Japan, Europe, India and a number of South East Asian markets for use in steel production and in some cases, the continued industrialisation and development of those countries.
“Our coal exports played a big part in Australia recently registering its first current account surplus since 1975. The ABS attributes that to continuing high prices combined with growing volumes of resources exports, including coal.
“It highlights how important our resource exports are to the state and national economy, supporting jobs, investment and incomes for thousands of families.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry applauded the employment boost the mine had given the region and to Capricornia.
“Around 1,000 people worked on construction of Byerwen mine, with a peak of 14 per cent indigenous employment,” Ms Landry said.“The mine is expected to have a permanent workforce of more than 500 people when construction is finished, with around 5 per cent of those to be indigenous. Every one of those workers embodies the prosperity created by our mining sector, the advantages it brings to Australia and the resilience of regional communities in Queensland.”
Byerwen mine is a joint venture between Japan’s JFE Steel and the QCoal Group, which is the only privately-owned supplier of premium hard coking coal in Australia.