Stanmore Coal’s Isaac Plains mine in Moranbah was reopened today, underlining the solid long-term prospects for the Queensland resources sector.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially reopened the mine and said the mining sector was doing it tough, but demand remained strong for Queensland’s resources and expertise.
Also attending the event, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the government was aware of sustained lower prices, particularly in coal, and the flow-on effects for regional communities.
“The bright side of the coal market is that the modern world needs steel and it can only be made with coking coal – like the coking coal produced here at Isaac Plains,” he said.
“The hard coking coal price has increased about 20 per cent over the past quarter, on the back of ongoing steel demand.
“But we also know that we need to nurture the green shoots, with initiatives like our 50 per cent exploration expenditure discount, on top of our ongoing royalties freeze and low payroll tax rates.
“The Coordinator-General’s powers to cut red tape are available to support business, as has happened here at Isaac Plains, with the Carmichael coal mine, rail and port project and at MMG’s Dugald River in the north-west.”
Stanmore Coal’s Isaac Plains East expansion has also been declared a prescribed project.
“This will help Stanmore extend the life of their existing open cut operation to more than 10 years, with further possible expansion to an underground operation,” Dr Lynham said.
“Our government supports the sustainable development of our resources for the jobs and economic development this offers and we will keep working hard to support companies like Stanmore Coal turn their plans into reality.”
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said she was thrilled to be at the re-opening of Isaac Plains coal mine today which employs 150 people.
“The project will provide flow on benefits to local and regional workers, contractors and suppliers and is a welcome change from forced fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) dominated operations,” Cr Baker said.
“Seeing this mine coming back online and with possible brownfield expansion opportunities is a confidence boost for the region and for Moranbah.”
Stanmore Coal purchased Isaac Plains Mine from Vale and Sumitomo for $1 more than a year after about 300 jobs were lost when production halted in 2014.
The first shipment of coking coal was loaded at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal last Thursday (May 12).
The official opening today completes the restart of the Isaac Plains mine which was acquired in November 2015.