Queensland Coal – The Facts

Regrettably, the old parable “never let the truth get in the way of a good story” (attributed to Mark Twain) applies when we consider the volume of problematic media material that is being generated by a variety of sources on the subject of the Queensland Coal Mining Industry.

The continued generation of inaccurate and misinformation that is being broadcast by national media, activists and protestors, educators and politicians denouncing the Queensland Coal Industry is alarming to say the least.

Coal mining for many is a complex issue requiring calculated assessment and below we present appropriate assessments and data from reliable sources such as the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).  

Facts: (DNRME – QRC) Queensland Coal:

  1. Queensland has three primary Coal Regions – The Surat, Bowen and Galilee Basins with the Central and Northern regions of the State, with the Surat and Bowen Basins actively supporting in excess of fifty-five (55) operating coal mines, thirty-seven of these produce metallurgical (met) coal. 70% of coal exports are met coal (=163mt in 2015-2016). Queensland has some of the highest quality met coal in the world supplying >50% of global exports.
  2. The value of coal to the State can’t be underestimated with in excess of $2.7 billion paid in wages to >21,ooo full time employees (2016-2017). The latest Code Effectiveness Report (April 2019) released by the QRC indicates that in 2017-2018 $5.2 billion was paid in wages to 54,106 full time jobs across the mining and energy sectors of Queensland.
  3. Coal royalties contributed to the State Economy rose from $3.4 billion in 2016-2017 to $4.3 billion in 2017-2018, representing 1 in $5 of the State Economy; 1 in 8 jobs for Queensland supporting in excess of 14,200 businesses.
  4. Flow-on benefits (employment and spending) from the resources sector in 2017-2018 contribute to an additional 262,251 full time jobs with an add-on value of $33.8 billion
  5. Local Content Quantitative Results 2017-2018 (QRC): Based on data collected from 44 respondents $19.3 billion (69%) of purchases were from vendors located across the State representing an increase of 19% on the previous year.
  6. All of the above activity is undertaken on 0.1% of the State’s land surface.

Source: QRC 2019

Facts: Galilee Basin Thermal Coal Projects (as at October 2018 – DNRME)

  • The Galilee Basin is a large geological basin located in Western Queensland covering approximately 247,000 sq km with a reported 15 primary coal deposits accounting for an estimated 100 billion tonnes of coal;
  • Presently there are seven (7) identified Projects within the Galilee Basin including: China Stone, Carmichael, North Alpha, Keven’s Corner, Alpha Coal, China First and South Galilee.
  • Sample testing across the Basin demonstrates premium quality low Sulphur – low ash thermal washed coal.
  • Mining across all Coal Basins are stringently approved and monitored by State and Federal jurisdictions.
  • Demand for Galilee Basin coal is extremely strong with countries such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan plus others across Asia indicating high-end demand to support their continued growth and emergence from third-world scenarios.

Coal as a Power Generator:

  • Global Coal production (2017) increased by 3.2% driven by notable increases in both China (3.6%) and US (6.9%) with coal fired power generation representing the largest source of global power generation capacity.
  • The world’s energy demand is growing with India, China, SE Asia and the Middle East demand leaders.
  • Population growth. The overall demand for power is attributed to population growth with the population across India (as an example) expected to grow exponentially over the next 20 years.

Taking advantage of the demand opportunity:

The current void in coal supply from Australia is being taken up by other supply nations. In 2017 the total imports of coal across ten (10) importing Countries was 740 Mt – with Australia only accounting for 195 Mt, strongly demonstrating that other supply nations are capable of supplying total global coal demand. 

Development of the Galilee Basin Coal resource will ensure that the Central, Northern and Western Regions of the State will enjoy stable economies, social benefit and attract willing workforces that guarantee continued development and instill business confidence across all regions.   


QRC Fact sheet: What are resources worth to Rockhampton (R)

QRC Fact sheet: What are resources worth to Livingstone (S)

Blog Navigation