Ongoing protests at Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine is having no impact on people wanting a job at the project with 1800 people applying for 100 permanent roles on offer.
Since launching the recruitment process last week, Whitehaven said it has been swamped with applicants for the operator and technician positions.
Just the first of several recruitment phases, the $767 million Maules Creek mine will require around 450 people to operate once production commences in March next year.
Whitehaven has previously stated that almost 85 per cent of the mine’s workers will come from the nearby Gunnedah, Tamworth, Narrabri, and Liverpool Plains areas.
Maules Creek mine general manager Peter Wilkinson said the new coal mine would pay around $40 million in wages every year.
“This significant interest in the Maules Creek operation illustrates the economic and employment benefits we are bringing to the community," Wilkinson said.
“A significant number of the applications so far have been from the local area, which is pleasing.
“We have also spoken to a significant number of experienced operators and tradespeople who are originally from the area and would like to return.”
Wilkinson said the company was still receiving applications and would recruit for further roles in the coming months.
Once at full production, Maules Creek will produce 13 million tonnes annually, of which 10.5 million tonnes will be saleable coal, and is estimated to pay $6.5 billion in royalties and corporate tax over the first 21 years of its life.
Protests at the site are common and environmentalists claim the mine will have adverse impacts on water and air quality in the region.
Clearing parts of the Leard State Forest to make way for the project has also come under scrutiny.
More than six activists have been arrested at the site this week after making attempts to disrupt the mine’s construction by chaining themselves to machines and gates.
229 people have been arrested since protests begun in the Leard State Forest, and at surrounding mines in the Boggabri area, in January.