AusBN - BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is preparing a AUS$271 million expansion of its coking-coal operations in Eastern Australia, in order to increase production and reduce overall operating costs.
This expansion of the Caval Ridge mine was confirmed by BHP and venture partner Mitsubishi Corp, who will collaborate in the build of a 6.8-mile overland conveyer system to transport coal from the neighbouring Peak Downs mine to a preparation plant.
The project is expected to create up to 400 jobs during construction, followed by a further 200 ongoing roles at the facility.
Mike Henry, BHP’s president operations, minerals Australia, said: “This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capacity, and strengthens our coal business’ global competitiveness.
“We are committed to Queensland’s Bowen Basin and this project creates new employment opportunities during construction and locks in ongoing operational roles.
“The investment flowing from the project will help support the local community and state economy after what has been a difficult time in the region.”
The coal mining industry across Queensland has taken a hit in recent years following a sustained prices slump, but the market has shown signs of recovery, particularly in the last few months.