BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance will invest $270.5 million to build an 11-kilometre overland conveyor system to transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to processing facilities at Caval Ridge Mine in Central Queensland.
Peak Downs and Caval Ridge are two of the seven Bowen Basin coking coal mines which are 50:50-owned by BHP and Mitsubishi.
The project, which is costed at US$204 million, will allow the alliance to move coal from Peak Downs to the Coal Handling Preparation Plant at Caval Ridge.
Mike Henry, BHP president of operations, said the “missing link” would accelerate growth and productivity.
“This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capacity, and strengthens our coal business’ global competitiveness,” Henry said.
“We are committed to Queensland’s Bowen Basin and this project creates new employment opportunities during construction and locks in ongoing operational roles.”
400 new jobs are expected during construction, with 200 ongoing operational roles forecast.
“The investment flowing from the project will help support the local community and state economy after what has been a difficult time in the region,” Henry added.
BMA plans to begin work on the project midway through this year.
It will take around 18 months to complete.
Along with the massive conveyor system, the project will also include a new stockpile pad and run-of-mine station at Peak Downs.
The existing CHPP and stockyard will also be upgraded at the Caval Ridge end of the project.
BMA said it would also invest in a new mining fleet, including excavators and trucks.