NSW's coal cash cow

THE New South Wales government experienced a royalty bonanza in the 2009 financial year with the state’s mining industry paying out $A1.28 billion – more than double the previous year.
NSW's coal cash cow NSW's coal cash cow NSW's coal cash cow NSW's coal cash cow NSW's coal cash cow

 

Angie Tomlinson

Coal made up more than 95% of the royalties, reflecting higher export coal prices and the government’s move in January 2008 to slog companies with an additional 1.2% in royalty fees.

The statistics were revealed in the NSW Minerals Council’s Key Industry Statistics 2009.

While royalties skyrocketed, sadly so did fatalities with three deaths in underground coal mines compared to none the year before.

A further decrease was achieved in the lost-time injury frequency rate, which fell to 13.3 per million hours worked, compared to 16.3 the previous year and 36.4 a decade ago.

Serious bodily injuries in underground coal were up, to 20 for the year.

Raw production for all coal mines grew to 181.656 million tonnes with underground mines contributing 63.084Mt.

Saleable output of coal per employee hour was 4.19t.

Japan remained the state’s biggest coal buyer despite slipping 6.5% to 54.5% in its market share. China made up some of the slippage, increasing its share by 3.6%.

The number of people employed in mining continued to grow while the average age of employees in NSW coal mines decreased to 41.3 years old.

The state spent $175.3 million on exploration during the year, well down on the mining boom states of Western Australia with $1.24 billion and Queensland with $351.7 million.

There was a massive increase in the environmental securities paid by mining companies to a record $1 billion.

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