Blair Athol job interest up by 685%

JOB applications for the Blair Athol mine have increased almost eightfold to 1100 since Linc Energy subsidiary New Emerald Coal unveiled plans to restart the Queensland thermal coal mine closed by Rio Tinto.
Blair Athol job interest up by 685% Blair Athol job interest up by 685% Blair Athol job interest up by 685% Blair Athol job interest up by 685% Blair Athol job interest up by 685%

The Blair Athol mine, image courtesy of Rio Tinto.

Blair Price

About five weeks ago NEC chief executive officer and managing director Michael Mapp told ILN 140 people had sent in their resumes before any recruitment drive was launched.

With the advertising campaign starting last week, NEC operations executive general manager Jason O’Rourke told the Friday edition of Central Queensland News that 1100 people had applied.

“Of those applicants, probably around 95% are from Queensland and 80% are from the Clermont area, which is really positive, a great result and exactly what we were after,” he reportedly said.

"It's excellent, it's a really good response and there are still a few days to go."

Recruiter Prospect Group aims to fill various roles including in the areas of management, mechanical and electrical maintenance, mine planning, engineering, health and safety, production, surveying, training and administration.

About 120 jobs will be created by reopening the mine, with Linc already planning to fill at least nine key positions internally.

Roughly 170 jobs at Blair Athol were made redundant by the Rio-led joint venture when it placed the mine on care and maintenance last year, with Mapp expecting most of the required skill set to be available within the region.

Some conditions need to be finalised under Linc’s deal to acquire the Blair Athol assets for $A2.

NEC aims to restart production in the March quarter for production of at least 2 million tonnes per annum of saleable coal over a mine life of nine years.

However, Linc CEO Peter Bond recently flagged that exploration and possible nearby acquisition activity could allow for a 10-year life at a production rate of 3Mtpa.

With plans to either sell NEC or list it on Singapore’s stock exchange, consultancy Snowden estimated the Blair Athol assets to be worth $181 million out of its forecast range of $121-238 million.

In late October Glencore Xstrata agreed to purchase Rio’s 50.1% stake of the nearby Clermont mine for $US1.01 billion.

The open cut mine planning will be modified from Rio’s pre-closure plans, with the current mine plan including a highwall mining type method, targeting seam 4 that hosts resources of approximately 46Mt and is expected to result in 17.5Mt over nine years.

Mapp previously told ILN the plan was to look at trenching through the previously mined seam 3 areas to open up the seam 4 area for the highwall mining type method underneath.

A detailed mining plan is being completed, from which Linc’s teams will draft a plan of operations to submit to the Queensland government, which will outline the proposed mining and rehabilitation plans.

More details about applying for jobs at NEC are available by clicking here.