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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Mine expansion reflects resources strength in Queensland

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Mine expansion reflects resources strength in Queensland

    Innovative technology to extract thick seams of coal will be used in Queensland for the first time thanks to a $1 billion expansion of a coal mine in the Bowen Basin.

    Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the investment by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance reflected optimism about resources and the value of the Government’s election promise to grow the sector as one of the four pillars of the economy.

    “With the extension of the Broadmeadow Mine, BMA has demonstrated its continued commitment to coal production and investment in Queensland for at least the next 20 years,” Mr Cripps said.

    “The Newman Government committed at the election to cut red-tape and to speed-up approvals to restore Queensland’s resources sector as a world leader.

    “This investment and the optimism in the resources industry shows that our commitment to the sector is delivering positive outcomes and thousands of jobs across the state.

    “Mining is now a larger employer of full-time workers in Queensland than both the agricultural or hospitality sectors, which highlights the importance of the sector to economic growth in Queensland.

    “Last financial year BMA’s operations contributed around $9.3 billion in direct spending, mostly in regional communities.”

    Mr Cripps said the mine extension generated 650 jobs during construction and could also allow for an increase in production capacity.

    “This expansion won’t only support the growing resources sector, but has also been a boost to the construction industry, another economic pillar of the Queensland economy,” he said.

    “In the past, the construction industry hasn’t been a focus, however these sorts of construction projects provide jobs and improved infrastructure for Queensland.”

    Broadmeadow is an underground mine on the Goonyella lease near Moranbah that produces hard coking coal for export to the Middle East, Asia, South America, South Africa, Europe, Japan and India.

    In addition to new surface infrastructure and flood protection, BMA has introduced a form of mining known as Longwall Top Coal Caving that makes the extraction of thick seams more economic.

    Mr Cripps said the technology was the first of its type to be used in a Queensland mine and allowed for almost complete recovery of coal from thick seams.

    “It is also renowned for its high productivity and for reducing operating costs, which are significant advantages for the coal mining industry,” he said.

    “The extension of three longwall panels at the mine means production will be lifted from 400,000 tonnes per annum to a new total capacity of 4.8 million tonnes per annum.

    “Broadmeadow mine is just part of a $5 billion investment by BMA in central Queensland, which includes a $1.6 billion development of nearby Daunia and a $2.5 billion expansion of Hay Points terminal.”

    [ENDS] 26 February 2014

    Media contacts: Kate Haddan 0418 373 516 or Eleisha Rogers 0413 375 088