650 jobs from new Fingal coalmine

650 jobs from new Fingal coalmine

A NEW coalmine proposed for the Fingal Valley is expected to provide an extra 650 jobs in the North when fully operational by 2014.

The privately owned, Victorian-based Hardrock Coal Mining plans to have its development application for the thermal coal project to the Break O'Day Council this month.

If approved, Hardrock wants to start on the $40 million project early in 2012.

Managing director Craig Astill said in Launceston yesterday that the company had finance for the project and Asian markets lined up with electricity generators.

It planned to ship the black coal to customers through Bell Bay, a move that would mean considerable business for TasRail and the struggling Bell Bay port.

Hardrock owns two exploration licences covering an area of 278 square kilometres near Fingal.

The proposed mine operation will be centred on a disused underground coalmine in a 10-square-kilometre area of the Duncan seam, adjacent to the Cornwall Coal Company operation.

``The project has been designed to have a minimal footprint, which simply overlaps the pre-existing access tracks and mine opening,'' Mr Astill said.

The company has spent 12 months in talks with the state government, Tasports and councils and has held community consultation.

It expects to export up to one million tonnes of thermal coal a year, earning a minimum of $100 million from the first year.