The State of the Industry Report 2007 shows that local mining companies are re-investing substantial funds reaped from the current mining boom to extend their environmental performance and social contribution within regional communities across NSW.
NSW Minerals Council chief executive Dr Nikki Williams said the industry's investment in environmentally sustainable practices and cutting-edge new technology had grown rapidly in recent years and won international recognition but remained largely unrecognised at home.
Williams said the report explodes some common urban myths about the mining industry, which is contributing to the expansion of essential community services through increased taxes and royalties from its record $12.3 billion in production last year.
"The industry supports many robust regional economies but also contributes to every facet of our prosperous economy, from cost-effective fuel for electricity, to cars, construction materials and medical equipment," she said.
The report highlights NSW coal producers' contribution of $1 billion towards the national COAL21 Fund, a voluntary industry initiative to fast-track low emission coal technologies.
Case studies featured in the report include BHP Billiton's WestVAMP initiative, which will utilise 20% of West Cliff mine's ventilation air to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to producing enough electricity for 20,000 homes, or removing emissions from 45,000 cars from the environment each year.