Source: Mackay Daily Mercury
MOMENTUM in greenfield coal mine exploration is getting a wobble in its knees, with environmentalists targeting Adani's Carmichael Coal Mine and signalling the next target would be Gina Rhinehart's GVK Hancock mine.
But it hasn't stopped plans to dig up coal at old Bowen Basin sites.
There are no fewer than eight Bowen Basin mines - once thought to be either dead or seeing out the last of their days churning out profitable coal - facing an expansion or about to be brought back to life.
"It is pleasing to see a resurgence in mining activity at locations such as Blair Athol near Clermont and Isaac Plains near Moranbah," said Isaac Region Acting Mayor Cr Geoff Bethel.
"This renewed activity in our resources sector represents a shot in the arm for the region's economy.
"It's exciting to see new projects come online and brownfield sites resume activity.
"This brings more workers and their families into our Isaac communities."
Middlemount Coal is seeking State and Federal government approvals for its Western Extension Project, which would secure jobs for about 550 mine workers.
Fitzroy Australia Resources continues to employ more than 350 people at Carborough Downs, which was expected to close in April 2017.
The company, which is a joint venture between ACMI and Riverstone, has also started work at Broadlea Mine, which went into care and maintenance in 2009.
Overburden movements started in October and about 55 permanent staff and more than 15 contractors are expected to work at the mine for about 12 months.
Realm Resources' expansion of Foxleigh Coal Mine has merit after geological assessments estimated coal reserves at 63 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, Terracom's Blair Athol Mine has turned a closed mine into one that is now producing coal.
The company is also on track to commission its coal handling facility this quarter, which will enable it to transport the coal via rail instead of road.
Cook Colliery Mine is also expected to start producing coal again this quarter. The mine closed after flooding last March and its owners were placed into administration in May. But Bounty Mining officially bought the mine along with Minyango Coking Coal Project in December for $31.5million.
This year 50 workers will start at the mine, but that is expected to increase to about 200 within the first 10 months of operation.