WHITEHAVEN Coal has been inundated with interest from job-seekers since launching a recruitment drive for its $767 million Maules Creek mine last week.
More than 1800 people have applied for 100 permanent operator and technician positions announced in the first of several recruitment phases.
The company, which says it is on track to begin production early next year, is aiming to extract six million tonnes of coal in the first 12 months.
But it estimates a workforce of about 450 people will be required when the coalmine reaches peak production of up to 13 million tonnes a year.
Maules Creek mine general manager Peter Wilkinson said the company was committed to sourcing workers from North West and Western NSW.
He said the coalmine project was expected to pump over $40 million a year in wages alone into the local community.
“This significant interest in the Maules Creek operation illustrates the economic and employment benefits we are bringing to the community,” he 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.
“We are still taking applications and further roles will be recruited over the coming months.”
The recruitment comes after Whitehaven Coal announced last month it would cut an undisclosed number of staff from its coal handling and preparation plant at Gunnedah.
Despite the company having constructed more than 50 per cent of the mine, it is still coming under fire from protesters.
At least six anti-mining activists have been arrested for attempting to disrupt construction this week.