New mine promising 1000 jobs

A NEW Bowen Basin coal mine on track to create almost 1000 jobs will be officially opened today, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hailing it a "great day for Queensland".

The $1.76 billion Byerwen project - a joint venture ­between Queensland-based QCoal and Japanese company JFE Steel - exported its first metallurgical coal to the Fukuyama steel works in Japan in January.

Production is expected to start at three million tonnes per annum before increasing to 10 million tonnes a year at full production, with 350 jobs during construction and about 500 when production ramps up.

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Photo Lachie Millard
Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Photo Lachie Millard

"JFE Steel is one of our biggest customers and partners and there simply is no other way to make steel than with metallurgical coal," Ms Palaszczuk said of the project.

"This is a great day for Queensland and a great day for Queensland jobs."

Ms Palaszczuk said she met with JFE Steel executives, including its president Yoshihisa Kitano, on her Tokyo trade mission in May.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the mine symbolised the resilience of Queensland's coal industry and had provided a boost to regional employment.

"It also enhances our trade relationships with other nations which rely on our high-quality coking coal to produce the steel they need to grow and prosper," he said.

"Coal from the mine will be exported to Japan, Europe, India and a number of SouthEast Asian markets."

It comes as Labor continues to ramp up its public support for the mining industry after it was punished by voters in coal regions in the federal election.