JOBS RETURN: New CQ mine owner promises to be different

THE likely new owner of Cook Colliery mine promises to be "very different" to the now liquidated company which was at the helm when more than 100 people lost their jobs.

Bounty Mining expects the sale of the formerly Guangdong Rising Asset Management-owned mine to settle this week after more than three months of hurdles.

With plans to reopen it by early next year, chairman and chief executive Gary Cochrane said Bounty Mining would initially need 50 workers, but that would increase to about 200 within 10 months of operation.

Mr Cochrane said the company had helped businesses that were involved in work at the coal mine before it was placed in care and maintenance in March.

"There were a lot of people laid off and services and suppliers were left hurting," he said.

"This is a great opportunity to inject that revenue back into the economy.

The new Cook Colliery longwall. 
Photo Contributed
The new Cook Colliery longwall. Photo Contributed Contributed

"... We've approached (all of the former suppliers) they're all willing to sell their services again."

Mr Cochrane told The Observer the sale process had taken longer than he expected, after it was delayed by GRAM, a Chinese-state owned enterprise.

The sale was initially expected to close by November 25, and Mr Cochrane hopes it will close by this Friday.

"Now we can start to make plans, which we are, to get the mine restarted," he said.

"We have a number of people we've recruited (for preliminary work) and there will be about 50 more once the sale closes."

Mr Cochrane hopes to reopen the mine in January as a bord and pillar site, and export its first coal out of RG Tanna Coal Terminal by March.

Coal from the mine was previously exported from Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, which Caledon Coal was a part-owner of. Caledon Coal and GRAM's collapse marked the third of the eight original owners to enter liquidation.