NSW coal growing again in Sept quarter

OVERALL yearly raw coal production in New South Wales has fallen for the 2015-16 financial year for the second consecutive year after 11 years of unprecedented growth, according to statistics provided by Coal Services.
NSW coal growing again in Sept quarter NSW coal growing again in Sept quarter NSW coal growing again in Sept quarter NSW coal growing again in Sept quarter NSW coal growing again in Sept quarter

Underground at Peabody Energy's Wambo mine in NSW.

Lou Caruana

However, figures for the September 2016 quarter show raw coal production is up 2.4% or 1.5 million tonnes when compared to the same period in 2015.

During the three months to September 30 2016, one open cut mine closed, one underground mine opened and a new longwall started production.

At the end of the period there were 42 coal mines operating in NSW – 22 were open cut and 20 were underground mines with 14 longwall operations.

Overall raw coal production for the September quarter of 64.6Mt and was up 2.4% when compared to the same period in 2015.

The quarter also improved on tonnages won for the preceding two quarters where the March 2016 quarter recorded 62Mt and the June 2016 quarter recorded 61.7Mt.

At a regional level, the Western coalfield enjoyed a 21.8% increase when comparing the 12.9Mt produced in the September 2016 quarter with the June 2016 quarter.

Raw coal production in the Hunter coalfield rose 2.6% over the same period to 37.5Mt. The 7.2Mt recorded from the Gunnedah coalfield was down slightly on the June 2016 quarter when 7.3Mt were won.

Production from the Newcastle and Southern coalfields remained steady.

At September 30 production employment in NSW had fallen 1% to 19,185 mineworkers (full-time equivalent workers) from June 30.

About 67% of the workforce was employed directly by the owner-operator of the mine and the remainder were contractors.

More than 43Mt of NSW coal was shipped to 19 countries during the September 2016 quarter. Japan continues to be NSW’s largest export market accounting for 43% of total exports.

 

The free on board value of NSW coal exports for the September 2016 quarter was $3.4 billion. The average FOB value per tonne for the period of $78.93 was slightly up against the previous two quarters for 2016.