Coal mine
Coal is stockpiled at the Blair Athol mine in the Bowen Basin coalfield near the town of Moranbah, Australia, June 1, 2012. Reuters/James Regan

Mining company Rio Tinto announced it will employ as many as 300 indigenous people on its Amrun bauxite project in Far North Queensland. During the course of the project, the company hopes to achieve the indigenous employment target of 20 percent.

The project, worth $2 billion, is expected to be in operation within a period of two years. Employment opportunities will be created for aboriginal locals in Weipa on Cape York Peninsula.

“Businesses bidding for contracts over $1 million must complete a Local and Indigenous Participation Plan,” manager Brad Welsh said, speaking with Sky News Australia. “Strong partnerships developed with the region's Traditional Owners are essential to the success of the site.”

In 2015, Rio Tinto had announced its investment for the Amrun project. It will include construction of a bauxite mine, processing and port facilities.

Meanwhile, coal miner Yancoal will be looking to settle its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley coal mines before Sept. 30. The purchase is worth US$2.45 billion (AU$3.05 billion).

Yancoal reported a full year loss for the fourth time in a row. Additionally, the coal miner did not meet the deadline to cut the cost of the acquisition by US$100 million (AU$130.5 million). Yancoal has said the acquisition is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2017.

“The transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions including Rio Tinto PLC and Rio Tinto Ltd shareholder approval, Yanzhou shareholder approval and various regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2017," Yancoal said in its statutory accounts, published on Tuesday.

The company emphasised that its operating earnings, before interest and tax, stood at $52.3 million. “Throughout 2016 Yancoal has proactively strengthened its balance sheet, reduced operational costs and maximised blending to benefit from significant global coal market price improvements and increasing customer demand," managing director Reinhold Schmidt said. "In the year ahead we will continue to progress the development of our open cut operations while pursuing new marketing and blending opportunities to maximise yields.