Carabella Resources chief financial officer Graham Taggert, executive manager Jeff Beatty and managing director Anthony Quin in Emerald last week.
Carabella Resources chief financial officer Graham Taggert, executive manager Jeff Beatty and managing director Anthony Quin in Emerald last week. Kelly Butterworth

More than 100 jobs up for grabs at Bluff coal mine

MORE than 100 local jobs will be created by a coal mine at Bluff that will inject $1 billion into the regional economy over a decade.

Carabella Resources managing director Anthony Quin addressed a community meeting in the township last week to update the company's plans to extract 1.2 million tonnes a year of PCI coal from the open cut, FIFO-free operation from 2014.

"This will be Carabella's first mine and it will take us from being an explorer and developer into being a producer, so yes, it is very exciting for us," Mr Quin said.

Concerns about the proximity of the mine to the town will see the western dump halved in size.

Carabella is working with the Central Highlands Development Corporation to establish a register of local jobs and procurement opportunities.

The company has already short-listed contractors to run the site and the coal handling and preparation plant.

The estimated capital start-up cost is $35 million. The mine will source its own water.

"We are very keen to have a local and regional focus, so we want to see local and regional jobs and local and regional procurement," Mr Quin said.

"We expect to create over 100 jobs at Bluff... ideally we would like to see as many people in the local area being part of our mining operation. That's certainly our focus.

"Procurement-wise, we expect over the life of the mine to spend in excess of $1 billion, so I think that is going to generate some good procurement opportunities.

"We will set up the register shortly and people who are interested can start putting their names or businesses forward to say here are some services we have to offer.

"We see this as about opportunity and regional development."

Mr Quin said there was interest from potential buyers in the high quality PCI product the mine could produce, and Carabella was in commercial discussions about rail capacity through to Gladstone's RG Tanna coal export facility.

The mine's environmental application was lodged on November 7.


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