News

Rockhampton and Gladstone becoming mining boom epicentres

The test pit at the GVK Hancock Alpha coal project in the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton.
The test pit at the GVK Hancock Alpha coal project in the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton. Patrick Hamilton

THE hiccuping of Queensland's traditional engine room in Central Queensland is being drowned out by the economic roars from new frontiers in coal and gas.

Mines in the Bowen Basin, west of Mackay, have long been the epicentre of the State's coal mining booms but new figures point to the emerging Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton and Curtis Island near Gladstone powering up to take its place.

New figures from the Federal Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics released on Wednesday showed record-breaking investment in Australia's resources industry.

BREE research found 87 committed developments worth $268 billion across the country with $78.4 billion or almost 30% coming from 22 projects planned for Queensland.

By comparison, New South Wales had 16 projects worth a total of $9.5 billion or 3.5% of the total.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance mothballed its Norwich Park and Gregory coal mines this year as coal prices waned.

It also postponed its Red Hill mine, a plan worth $2.2 billion.

Rio Tinto wound down its Blair Athol operation, which closed last week

Most mining giants also launched company wide cost-cutting measures, often cutting the number of contractors.

There were still 10 coal projects worth a total of $10.2 billion in the Bowen Basin, capable of creating at least 2800 building jobs and another 1610 to operate the mine.

On paper the figures appear paltry when compared with $60.8 billion being invested in liquefied natural gas projects near Gladstone.

Those projects will employ up to 17,000 through construction and up to 3000 once operating.

To the west, $23.15 billion is to be spent in the Galilee Basin, which - if all were successful - would deliver 130 million more tonnes of thermal coal a year for export.

BREE senior economist John Barber said the Bowen Basin lacked the enormous plans plotted for other parts of the State.

"There aren't that many mega projects in the Bowen Basin," Mr Barber said.

"There are some large ones, worth more than $1 billion, but not of the scale of the thermal coal and LNG elsewhere in the State."

Mr Barber said although there appeared to be a slowing in some areas, other parts of the State were making up for it.

"It's never a good thing for a community to have a project delayed or cancelled," he said.

"But when you look at a (state) level instead of regional impacts, it has seen growth due to those LNG projects," Mr Barber said.

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson warned that big numbers did not guarantee a booming industry.

He said while mineral prices remained low, challenges would persist.

"In the face of lower commodity prices, the delivery of this pipeline of projects is contingent on keeping production costs down, providing access to skilled labour and increasing our productivity and efficiency," Mr Ferguson said.

Topics:  boom gladstone mining rockhampton


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Overcrowded car no clowning matter to magistrate

DRINK DRIVING: The man was fined $1000 and had his licence suspended for 3 months.

$1000 fine for meatworker after birthday bungle.

Panthers come out on top in 9-a-side competition

BREAK THROUGH: The Panthers combinations came through on the night to win the competition.

Biloela exacts sweet revenge against Woorabinda.

Theodore Men's Shed group launches at old SES headquarters

HARD YAKKA: Theodore Men's Shed members work on a barbecue before the organisation's launch last Saturday.

Group aims to give purpose to retired and isolated men in Theodore.

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

DIRECTOR Danny Boyle puts on a masterclass in how to use a 20-year gap between movies to your advantage.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!