Coal growth continues for state

THE Queensland coal sector set another record for coal production in the just-completed financial year. Total saleable coal produced during 2003-04 was 160 million tonnes, up 4.21% on last year’s output.

Staff Reporter

Underground mines which contributed most to this increase included the Xstrata Coal Newlands mine and BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance mine Crinum.

The statistics, issues by The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, also showed June quarter production was up 9.37% to 43.966Mt.

Total exports during the 2003/04 financial year increased by 5.749Mt or 4.45% to 134.974Mt. Exports to all regions, barring Japan, increased. Exports to “Other Asia” increased by 3.112Mt or 7.20%, to Europe by 1.636Mt or 6.41% and to “Other Countries” by 1.396Mt or 13.98%. Exports to Japan decreased 0.78%. Coking coal exports increased 3.448Mt or 3.97% and thermal coal increased increase 2.301Mt or 5.43%.

Belgium increased its imports of Queensland coal by 26.7% to 2.761Mt, Brazil by 38.51% to 5.416Mt, China by 56.8% to 4.221Mt, Israel by 33.47% to 1.076Mt, Italy by 14.3% to 2.363Mt, Korea by 7.95% to 21.35Mt, Spain by 19.7% to 3.762Mt, Sweden by 27.3% to 1.268Mt and Taiwan by 10.4% to 6.550Mt.

During the June 2004 quarter exports from Queensland increased by 1.932Mt or 5.73% to 35.641Mt. There were decreased tonnages exported through the ports of Brisbane and Hay Point while there were increases in the amount of coal exported through Abbot Point, Dalrymple Bay and Gladstone.

At June 30, 2004 employment in the Queensland coal industry was 12,924 positions compared to 10,713 a year ago, an increase of 2,211 positions or 20.64%.

Productivity for the June 2004 quarter decreased by 2.06% from an average of 54.27 tonnes per shift for the previous June quarter to 53.16 tonnes per shift.

Productivity for the 2003/04 financial year was 13,623 tonnes per person, a slight decrease of 743 tonnes or 5.17% when compared to the previous financial year.

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