20 December 2007

New Zealand mining looks to immigration from the UK

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The New Zealand state mining company is recruiting people from the UK with mining skills and New Zealand visas, Television New Zealand reports. The skills shortage is constraining the operations of Solid Energy as it expands coal mining production to meet demand.

A resources boom means that the mining company could increase its coal mining significantly from the current 800,000 tonnes per year. South Island operations general manager Simon Doig said there is a shortage of skilled miners in the country. Solid Energy will visit Sheffield next month in an attempt to recruit up to 30 people with mining skills.

The mine is in Spring Creek, near the town of Greymouth and has 130 million tonnes of coal reserves. Solid Energy expects to mine up to 20 million tonnes of coal over the next 20 years. It recently carried out redevelopment that will allow access to 3.1 million tonnes of coal.

A new mining company, Pike River Coal, will start production next year at another mine north of Greymouth and is also likely to be looking for skilled workers with New Zealand visas.

New Zealand needs skilled miners: Anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.

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