Anglo American today announced it had received Queensland Government approval for a mining lease for the US$1.7 billion Grosvenor project planned for Moranbah in Queensland's Bowen Basin with the capacity to create up to 1000 jobs in construction and operation.
Anglo American's Metallurgical Coal business Chief Executive Officer, Seamus French, said over the next four years the company would safely develop a high quality operation that would offer benefits to the community, the State and the people it employs.
"Securing the mining lease is a win for local business, State Government and the local community as it brings with it a steady stream of royalties, opportunities for new, existing and local suppliers and direct investment through our Moranbah 2020 $20 million community investment fund to ensure Moranbah continues to be a great place to live," Mr French said.
The Grosvenor project is 100% owned by Anglo American and forms a major part of the group's strategy to triple metallurgical coal production by 2020. Grosvenor will consist of a single new underground longwall mine targeting the same well understood Goonyella Middle coal seam as Anglo American's Moranbah North mine.
Site construction work will now commence on bulk earthworks, access roads and the cut and cover tunnels for the two drifts from the surface.
First development coal production will occur in 2013 and longwall mining will commence in 2016.
Mr French said he was pleased to announce there would be more than 350 permanent operational roles created through this project. He said Anglo American would start looking for people from a range of backgrounds and varied levels of experience by the end of this year, while increasing gender balance by encouraging more women to consider available positions.
"To prepare our future employees without mining experience, Anglo American has a range of programmes to help bridge the skills gap," Mr French said.
"We have worked with National Apprenticeships to develop our Advanced Entry Trades Skills Programme, designed for adults with aligned industry experience or qualifications wishing to complete a trade apprenticeship within 1.5 years.
"We have also donated key underground mining equipment to Mastermyne's new Myne Start training complex that opened in Brisbane last week, where the underground miners of the future will develop their skills in a simulated environment," he said.
With accommodation availability a key interest area for the Moranbah community, Anglo American will offer a range of accommodation options to suit the personal circumstances of its workforce and build more than 50 new houses and townhouses. As part of this, 16 new homes were completed in February and a further 25 townhouses and four houses are currently under construction.
Anglo American will be working with other coal companies that operate in the Moranbah region to develop and ensure the availability of key community facilities.
A detailed Environmental Impact Statement was completed in 2010 and approved by the Queensland Government in December 2011.