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CHINESE-BACKED mining giant MMG has announced Townsville will be the fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) hub for their northwest Queensland zinc mine, creating 400 jobs.

The Dugald River zinc mine will work towards commissioning in the second half of this year before becoming operational in the first half of 2018.

Bulk recruiting has already started for more than 40 positions including roles in maintenance, paste plant operations, process operators and service crews.

Priority will be given to applicants living in Cloncurry or Mount Isa with mining experience or applicants willing to relocate before job seekers from Townsville will be considered.

MMG Dugald River operations manager Sam Rodda said the preferred FIFO base for the Dugald River Mine would be Townsville.

“MMG’s preference is to recruit local personnel from Cloncurry and Mount Isa, with Townsville identified as the FIFO commute base for additional workforce requirements,” he said.

“MMG has maintained ongoing engagement with local councils and peak industry bodies in Cloncurry, Mount Isa and Townsville during the development of our recruitment and employment strategy which has focused on attracting the best possible talent to the operation.

“The demonstrated capacity of these communities and the strong advocacy by their representatives supports our preference for local recruitment, with support from a well-regarded mining hub in Townsville.”

The project is expected to ease Townsville’s job crisis with the yearly average unemployment rate sitting near 11 per cent.

The announcement comes as JFE Steel reveals it will proceed with a $1.76 billion joint venture with QCoal in Byerwen, 140km west of Mackay.

The coal mine will create another 900 jobs in the Bowen Basin.

Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill had previously met with MMG’s senior management to make the case for the city as the primary FIFO hub.

“Choosing Townsville as the FIFO hub is a vote of confidence in the advantages we offer to the mining sector as a proven logistics base with a ready workforce,” she said.

“Their commitment to put locals first is a great news for jobs and economic activity in the northwest and here in Townsville.”

Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O’Callaghan said the strong case put forward had helped to secure the FIFO opportunity for Townsville.

“Townsville has a proud history as one of Australia’s prime FIFO hubs and MMG’s announcement is welcome news,” she said.

“We look forward to working with the company on this exciting project.”

This article is an extract from Townsville Bulletin written by CHRISTIE ANDERSON

Property Friends is a specialist Property Investment Advocacy that has been operating for the last 13 years on the basis of 3 principles: Trust, Community & Progress. www.propertyfriends.com.au (03) 9758 5331

Uwe Jacobs Property Strategist

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