BHP Coal President Dean Della Valle was joined by Premier Tony Abbott and high representatives from the Mitsubishi Company at the official launch of the new mine in Central Queensland.
Mr Dalla Valle said the official opening was an opportunity for BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi to showcase a world class new mine in Queensland, which will contribute to Australia’s coal export industry.
“Today’s opening of the Caval Ridge Mine is a significant milestone for BHP Billiton. The operation will produce metallurgical coal for the steel industry and has been constructed with the latest technology to be one of the most productive, sustainable and highly performing metallurgical coal mines in the world,” he said.
“Energy efficiency is a key focus for the mine and was built into its design and management system. This includes the use of highly efficient equipment and the optimisation of truck, shovel and dragline movements. This improves the efficiency of our energy use and helps minimise our greenhouse gas emissions. Since commencing operation, the Caval Ridge team has already achieved an Australian record for the amount of overburden moved by a shovel in one week.”
Mr Dalla Valle said he was proud of the diverse workforce at Caval Ridge Mine, which helps shape a positive and productive culture at site.
“Caval Ridge Mine’s workforce, who commute from Cairns and Brisbane, include 21 per cent females, three per cent Indigenous and 43% new-to-industry employees. We have invested considerably in recruiting and training new entrants to the coal industry who will work alongside some of our experienced operators,” he said.
“Having a FIFO operation enabled us to reach a wider potential employee pool across the State, not only bringing greater diversity but also enabling us to share the economic benefits of the mine more broadly. Over 30,000 people applied for around 950 roles at Caval Ridge and its sister mine Daunia.”
The Caval Ridge Mine is an equally owned joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd. The BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is the largest employer in the Bowen Basin region, with over 7,000 employees working across its eight operations. Six of these operations have a residential workforce and FIFO is just one part of the company’s workforce offering, enabling choice for employees on where they would like to work and live.
The mine was delivered below budget, and produced its first coal three months ahead of schedule.