Australia’s resources and energy exports are now worth more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, anchored by strong forecasts for Queensland’s major commodities including coal, LNG, bauxite, copper and zinc.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the record figure of $252 billion, in the September Resources and Energy Quarterly, was testament to the hard work of the Queensland resources industry.
“Our resources and energy exports have been powering our state and our national economy for the better part of two decades,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“But our success is no accident or just good luck. The huge benefits from the resources sector come through long-term planning, hard work from almost 300,000 Queenslanders, and our ability to attract investment dollars.
“Importantly, these latest figures further debunk the myths spread by those who want to see the entire resources industry shut down.
“No amount of wishful thinking from anti-resources campaigners can erase the numbers that show strong demand for both metallurgical and thermal coal, our LNG and other commodities that form the building blocks of our modern societies, including bauxite, copper and zinc.
“There have been record production volumes at BHP and Anglo American’s metallurgical coal operations. Met coal production is forecast to grow by 11 per cent between 2017-18 and 2019-20, driven largely by the resurgence in the Queensland coal sector.
“Metallurgical coal exploration is also on the way back up. We again congratulate the Queensland Government for the release of more than 500 square kilometres for exploration across the Bowen, Surat and Galilee Basins.
“Our region also wants more thermal coal, and Australia is in the ideal position to supply it.
“For example, the report points to 11 coal-fired power plants due to come into operation in Japan over the next two to three years. They have a combined capacity of 4.5GW which is the equivalent of about eight per cent of the generation capacity of Australia’s national electricity market.
“Strong demand for LNG is being met in part through the Queensland coal seam gas industry, which supplies gas for Australian users and delivers export earnings, all the while delivering $387 million in access agreements with Queensland farmers and landholders.
“Queensland’s other powerhouse commodities are also in line for significant growth, notably zinc. Queensland will help drive a 50 per cent increase in zinc production through New Century Resources’ newly re-opened Century mine.
“The Queensland resources sector has created 10,000 jobs over the past year – that’s a new job every 40 minutes. The figures released today reinforce why it’s so important we continue to back our resources sector, for the jobs and local investment it creates.
“We look forward to working with the Federal Government on the implementation of recommendations from the Resources 2030 Taskforce to further strengthen our sector.”