BLAIR ATHOL: Over 1100 people have applied for just 120 positions at Blair Athol mine.
BLAIR ATHOL: Over 1100 people have applied for just 120 positions at Blair Athol mine. Contributed

New Emerald Coal flooded with job applications

WITH about 1100 applicants gunning for 120 jobs, Blair Athol owner New Emerald Coal is looking at a workforce with a wealth of experience.

New Emerald Coal executive general manager of operations Jason O'Rourke said the recruitment process was well under way since advertising of the available positions began last week.

"We've had around 1100 applicants who have applied for these jobs and it is great to see people getting behind the project," he said.

"Of those applicants, probably around 95% are from Queensland and 80% are from the Clermont area, which is really positive, a great result and exactly what we were after.

"It's excellent, it's a really good response and there are still a few days to go."

Mr O'Rourke said the process should wrap up in January.

"Firstly, we'll shortlist and then run assessment centres in Clermont, December 2-13, and over those two weeks, they'll go through the usual process, with introductions, psychometric testing, interviews and interactive workshops," he said.

"One thing that would really help us right now is if people could go through the Prospect website to apply, so the applications will go straight in, instead of sending them through other channels.

"The reality is next January, we will hopefully start making some offers.

"We've said from the start we want to get things running but we won't sacrifice quality for speed."

The Clermont community can get used to having New Emerald Coal in town, with the group setting up a shop front next week.

"We've got a place in the Clermont Arcade on Capella St," Mr O'Rourke said.

"We're shop five and we'll be there for the next few months or so.

"Basically, we'll be there in the shop doing what we'd normally be doing in Brisbane.

"But people can pop in and say g'day.

"We welcome people coming in to ask questions - we have said from the start we will always give them an answer."

Mr O'Rourke said the pride of the Clermont community was welcome.

"You can see it in the streets and the people, it's a good country town which doesn't come across as a mining town," he said.

"It's a really lovely place and that's why we hope to base our employees there."

New Emerald Coal, a subdivision of Linc Energy, acquired Blair Athol from Rio Tinto, which recently announced the sale of its other coal asset in the area, Clermont Mine, to Glencore Xstrata.


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