New Jobs in Coal Mining as Northern Star uncovers coal in the Pilbara

The potential for new jobs related to coal mining exists as Northern Star Resources discovers a vast coal reserve while searching for gold in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.


The discovery is located little more than 100 kilometres from its existing Paulsens gold mine. The coal deposit was discovered when the gold mine performed some reconnaissance drilling of some palaeo-channels where it expected to find more gold deposits.

Bill Beamont, the managing director of Northern Star, called the discovery “potentially valuable.” This could turn out to be a large-scale thermal coal deposit – as much as 340 to 615 million tonnes – which could mean more jobs in coal mining in the Pilbara region.

Initial statistics indicate the thermal core intersections vary in thickness from 12 metres to 65 metres according to data collected from eight aircore drills spread along a seven kilometer strike. Four of these located coal. A soft overburden of between 32 metres and 73 metres covers the discovery.

Northern Star will continue to focus on gold mining but using a joint venture, it will either seek to establish a separate company to handle the coal reserve or sell the discovery. Either case is good news for coal miners.

The company will continue to drill using an established $2 million budget. Results are expected in the March quarter of 2014. The coal discoveries located have so far been on lands owned fully by Northern Star but some strains may extend to lands owned by Fortescue Metals Group. That would make the tenements subject to a joint venture agreement whereby Northern Star could earn up to 60 percent of the non-iron ore rights.