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Queensland coal exports up in 2015

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World Coal,

Coal exports from the Queensland hit a record levels in 2015, according to analysis from the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), despite the tough market conditions faced by coal exporters. Shipments from the Australian state rose 2% on last year’s record of 216 million t to finish the year at 220 million t.

Record shipments were achieved from the ports of Gladstone with exports of 72 million t, Hay Point with exports of 44.4 million t and Abbot Point with exports of 27.2 million t, while exports from Dalrymple Bay were steady at 69.3 million t.

Destination information from the Gladstone Port Authority also showed changing trends in the countries taking Queensland’s coal with India a particular highlight. In 2H15, imports of coal to the south Asian giant were more than 19% higher than the same period in 2014 and nearly 24% than in 1H15.

“This evidence of a growing Indian market for Queensland’s lower-emission high-energy coal refutes the anti-coal activists’ claims about the economics of new coal projects, such as the proposed Adani and GVK Hancock mines in the Galilee Basin,” said Michael Roche, Chief Executive of the QRC.

Last month Indian conglomerate, Adani, received federal approval for dredging work at Abbot Point – a key step in expanding the port’s export capacity to the 120 million t needed to handle coal produced at its proposed 60 million tpy Carmichael coal mine. Meanwhile, in a ruling on 15 December, the Land Court of Queensland recommended that Queensland’s Environment Minister grant mining leases for the Carmichael project.

The QRC also highlights the economic impact the coal sector had on the Queensland economy noting that the Queensland Treasury was expecting an increase in royalties from the coal sector in the 2015 – 2016 financial year on the back of the strong export numbers.

“In further positive news, over the four years of the forward estimates, coal is expected to deliver AUS$8.3 billion in royalties (unchanged from budget estimates) which will used to pay for essential services such as schools, hospitals and road,” Roche said.

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