WATCH: Stanmore mine could add another 100 jobs in a year
More jobs to come
UNDERGROUND coal mining could add another 100 jobs at Isaac Plains coal mine as early as next year.
The open cut portion of the mine was reopened yesterday, creating 150 jobs but owner Stanmore Coal's managing director Nick Jorss said planning was already under way for an underground component that would bring the mines' job total to 250.
"We're looking at it now so it's more realistically next year that we'd get that going," Mr Jorss said.
"We're looking at studies but at the moment, things look pretty promising."
It would increase production from about 1.1 million tonnes to about 2 million tonnes of coking coal a year.
Mr Jorss said it was the sustained demand for steel which gave the company long-term confidence in the coking coal market.
From dishie to coal mine managing director
NICK Jorss was washing dishes out the back of Annerley Sizzler restaurant when he met the man who helped him open Isaac Plains coal mine.
The former dishies, Mr Jorss and Vaughan Wishhart, along with Andrew Martin, founded Stanmore Coal eight years ago, and although the latter two have since moved on to other projects both were present for the Moranbah coal mine's official opening yesterday.
State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham were among other dignitaries present.
Talk about bang for a buck
Stanmore Coal took ownership of the mothballed mine in November 2015, with just a $1 peppercorn lease.
They secured $350 million worth of operating assets in the deal.
Although the mine would produce only 1.1 million tonnes a year, down from 2.8 million tonnes under previous owners Vale and Sumitomo, more efficient operating models would see them reduce costs by 35%.
"We need to reshape the way we run operations in this competitive, tough market," Mr Jorss said.
"That means we make more use of draglines, which is the cheapest way to shift material, and we've matched that with the right sized contracts at the rail and port."
An 18,000-tonne shipment has already left Dalrymple Bay, bound for a steel mill in Korea last week, and another is set to leave tomorrow.
Even though they bought the mine with pocket change, they were required to pay a $32 million rehabilitation bond.
But Mr Jorss said they had accelerated the rehabilitation work, so it would be done progressively during the lifespan of the mine.
While he said that with the market downturn the company would be looking to buy other assets, yesterday he was focussed on celebrating the journey that took him from scrubbing dishes to working in finance, as a civil engineer and finally to directing a Bowen Basin mine.
"It's a huge milestone and it's been a great journey to be here today," he said.