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Big Red Hill mining project set to create 3500 jobs

A mining project that has been on the drawing board since 2008 has been reignited, with the potential to create more than 3500 jobs in central Queensland.

The State Government said BMA Red Hill wanted to amend its mining lease application over the Red Hill tenement near Moranbah to allow for an extension of three longwall panels at the Broadmeadow underground mine and allow for a future expansion at the neighbouring Goonyella Riverside Mine.

The State Government acknowledged that this would, in turn, allow for the development of the Red Hill mine with about 14 million tonnes a year production capacity.

That sort of production output puts the project in the mega-project category, alongside some of the planned thermal coal mines in the Galilee Basin. The plan was initially raised five years ago and abandoned because of market conditions.

BHP has since developed the Daunia and Caval Ridge mines and said it had no new coal mine plans for Queensland.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said about 2000 jobs would be created in construction and another 1500 in operation.

He said the project would be subject to environmental approvals and had been classified as a co-ordinated project for assessment by the co-ordinator general.

It comes as reports filter out that Coal India is negotiating with unnamed Australian companies for the purchase of two thermal coal mines in a deal valued at $4 billion.

The report claims the deal would also give the state-owned company about 28 million tonnes a year of high-quality thermal coal.

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