Ostwald Brothers targets Wilkie Creek mine workers

HUNDREDS of mine workers could be in line for a Christmas miracle as a firm near Dalby targets 200 staff facing the unemployment line after American-owned miner Peabody announced it would shut down its Wilkie Creek operation.

Ostwald Brothers is currently trying to recruit 300 workers as it rushes to keep up with a heady flow of work from the region's growing gas industry.

According to the company, Peabody invited Ostwald to meet with the soon-to-be-redundant workers to discuss job opportunities.

Ostwald chief Brendan Ostwald said it needed workers and hopes "to be able to find a place for the coal workers within our company".

It is chasing truck operators, leading hands, labourers, project managers and others.

Peabody announced it would shut the mine, which remains up for sale, to focus on other operations in Central Queensland.

The recruitment drive is being supported by the Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown who said he wanted to see families stay in Dalby.

Mr Ostwald said he would also consider hiring those at risk of losing their jobs in the automotive industry.

Job offers are being listed on the website.