MINING giant BHP along with Mitsubishi has announced they will spend US$204 million and create up to 400 new jobs with the Caval Ridge Southern Circuit in central Queensland Bowen Basin.
The 11km overland conveyor system will transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to the Coal Handling Preparation Plant at Caval Ridge Mine.
The companies say the project will create up to 400 new construction jobs and lock in about 200 ongoing operational roles.
It will also result in the Caval Ridge preparation plant increasing its throughput to reach its 10 million tonne per year capacity.
BHP Billiton president operations, Minerals Australia Mike Henry said the project formed the missing link between the two mines, and will accelerate growth and productivity.
"This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capacity, and strengthens our coal business' global competitiveness."
"We are committed to Queensland's Bowen Basin and this project creates new employment opportunities during construction and locks in ongoing operational roles. 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."
Construction of the project is scheduled to commence mid 2017 and take 18 months to complete.
In addition to the new conveyor and associated tie-ins, the project will also mean a new stockpile pad and Run-of-Mine station at Peak Downs and, at Caval Ridge, the existing CHPP and stockyard will be upgraded. BMA will also invest in new mining fleet, including excavators, and trucks.