Exco shareholders gave their go signal on Friday for the $175 million deal that will formally transfer ownership of the company's Queensland mining assets to Xstrata.
Xstrata is set to pay cash for the E1 and Monakoff copper tenements that are situated near its Ernest Henry mine. The deal, according to the two firms, will be finalised by July that in turn will allow Xstrata Copper access to an open pit copper mining.
Xstrata Copper North Queensland chief operating officer Steve de Kruijff said in a statement on Friday that the company's new undertakings will boost its Ernest Henry operations, which will receive and process the ores from the twin projects.
De Kruijff said that while the recent decision of shutting down Xstrata's smelting and refinery facilities will let go of some 400 workers, a big chunk of those jobs, he pointed out, will be recovered once the company starts the operation of the new Queensland acquisition.
He said that "the development of the E1 and Monakoff copper project will create around 100 full time jobs."
Also, more employment opportunities have been opened up when Xstrata forged ahead with its expansion plans for the Ernest Henry, which transformed its operations from open cut pit to underground mining.
More jobs were generated too from the construction of Xstrata's magnetite extraction plant, de Kruijff said.
Overall, de Kruijff revealed that "transforming our Ernest Henry operations to an underground mine involves 330 jobs during construction and will provide 400 long term job opportunities from 2013 onwards."
In taking over the Queensland mining sites, the Xstrata executive said that the company will bolster its position as the pioneering miner that ships iron ore from the area, with its present output now standing at "approximately 1.2 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate per annum at full capacity for export to Asia."
Also, Xstrata has struck a deal with transport firms QR National and Pacific National in April, which the company said will allow the conveyance of its iron ore along the full stretch of 1030 kilometres rail network.