Coal is a cornerstone Australian industry built on the efforts of hard working Australians with the majority in regional areas.

It has a strong future which can meet the requirements of a modern economy.

The industry employed around 50,000 workers in 2018 with another 120,000 indirect jobs supported by the coal industry.

In 2018 Australia exported 203 Mt of thermal (energy) coal worth $22.6 billion and 179 Mt of metallurgical (steel-making) coal worth $37.8 billion.

The Australian coal industry paid over $5 billion in royalties in 2017-18, including:

  • Queensland – $3.7 billion
  • New South Wales – $1.7 billion
  • Victoria – $70 million

The Australian economy continues to rely on coal as a source of affordable, reliable electricity.

Australian coal is in demand for both energy and steel making.

Its high-energy, low ash characteristics ideally match the requirements for HELE coal-fired power plants being built throughout Asia, while our high grade metallurgical coals are amongst the best in the world for modern steel making.

Australian coal can also reduce emissions when compared to lower-quality coal from other exporters.

Supplier reliability, proximity to key markets and good infrastructure availability puts Australia in a strong position to take advantage of growing demand from existing customers such as Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea as well as newer buyers such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.

Coal mining in Australia is a sophisticated and hi-tech activity.

Continuous improvements in mining technology, occupational health and safety and environmental performance have ensured that Australia is an efficient and reliable producer of high-quality thermal and metallurgical coals for the international market.

© Minerals Council of Australia 2019

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