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Industry demand for skilled Bowen Basin coal workers

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World Coal,

The Queensland Resources Council said the strong demand for skills in the Bowen Basin resources sector would create new opportunities and job options for workers from the Hail Creek mine.

Glencore announced a restructure of the Hail Creek opencast coal mine in Central Queensland. Glencore has said the total number of workers at the mine will decrease from 1360 to 930 by the time the changes are fully implemented in the second half of next year.

The changes include a reconfiguration of the mine from a two dragline operation to a truck and shovel operation.

“I understand this will be a difficult time for workers affected by the changes. But there is strong demand across Central and North Queensland for skilled workers in the resources sector,” QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“Queensland-wide there are about 1250 vacancies in the resources sector, and more than 440 of those jobs are in the Mackay and Coalfields region. On top of that, there are more than 200 jobs up for grabs in the Rockhampton, Gladstone and wider Central Queensland region.

“Global demand continues to grow for the high quality coal from the Bowen Basin. It is the building block for industry around the world. The Federal Government’s Chief Economist predicts record export values this year and rising export volumes over the next financial year.

“Glencore’s announcement today is focused on ensuring the ongoing viability of the Hail Creek mine. This will help sustain the project through the inevitable fluctuations in the commodity cycle.

“The Queensland coal industry has a strong future, and I expect its highly skilled and diverse workforce, including employees from the Hail Creek mine, will continue to be in demand across the sector.”

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