PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining giant BHP Billiton and its coal joint venture (JV) partner Mitsubishi have approved a $204-million investment in the Caval Ridge Southern Circuit (CRSC) project, in central Queensland.
The project will create up to 400 new construction jobs and will require 200 ongoing operational roles.
CRSC, which is an 11-km overland conveyor system that will transport coal from the Peak Downs mine to the coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) at the Caval Ridge mine, will result in plant throughput increasing to its full 10-million tonnes a year.
“This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capacity, and strengthens our coal business’s global competitiveness,” said BHP president of operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry.
Henry said that the project formed the missing link between the Caval Ridge and the Peak Downs mines, and would accelerate growth and productivity.
“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.”
Construction is slated to start in mid-2017, and will take 18 months to complete.
Henry noted that in addition to the new conveyor and associated tie-ins, the project would also mean a new stockpile pad and run-of-mine station at Peak Downs and Caval Ridge, while the existing CHPP and stockyard will be upgraded.
The JV will also invest in new mining fleet, including excavators and trucks.
The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the investment, with CEO Ian Macfarlane saying the investment is great news for the local community and the broader Queensland coal industry.