Queensland has been announced as Australia’s largest producer of metallurgical coal, according to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC). QRC Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report released by the Federal government shows metallurgical or ‘coking’ coal will continue to deliver record national export earnings and remain Queensland’s most valuable export.
Australia’s resources and energy exports are forecast to earn a record AUS$349 billion for 2021 – 2022, up from AUS$310 billion in 2020 – 2021, largely driven by a strong recovery in metallurgical coal prices.
Macfarlane said surging demand for Australian coking coal from major steel-producing nations such as Japan and South Korea had helped negate the impact from China’s decision last year to ban Australian imports. “We’re very fortunate that Queensland’s resources sector has been able to keep operating, earning and employing people throughout the pandemic,” he said. “I hate to think what the Queensland economy would look like right now without the strength of the resources sector behind it. “In 2019 – 2020, our sector contributed AUS$82.6 billion to the state economy and supported the jobs of more than 420 000 people, which is something every Queenslander can feel good about.
“Our industry has gone from strength to strength because we have the traditional and emerging commodities and raw materials the world needs to transition to a lower emissions economy, as well as the operational expertise to run what is Queensland’s largest export industry.” The QRC has also welcomed the announcement by federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor, of a AUS$250 million grant programme to accelerate the development of carbon capture and storage technology to help reduce industry emissions.
Macfarlane said the resources sector is investing in and embracing low emission technology at an unprecedented rate to meet the challenges of climate change. “Resources companies are moving as fast as they can to lower emissions, decarbonise their operations and embrace new sources of green energy,” he concluded. “Carbon capture and storage technology is an important part of this response and Queensland’s resources sector fully supports government investment in this area.”