Blair Sergeant’s Blog
Don’t count the Australian coal industry down and out just yet. A report prepared for the Mineral’s Council of Australia by Commodity Insight predicts the demand for metallurgical coal will grow by 7.5 million tons each year from now through 2030.
On 17 October, 2018, the Chinese coking coal industry hit a thirteen-month high, thanks to the growing industrial need for steel and a more limited availability.
The coal industry is under pressure at this time due to the fact that many new renewable energy sources are coming online.
Australia is a vast continent that is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. In the Queensland area, one of the most plentiful natural resources is coal. Coal is vital to the economy of Queensland bringing in almost four billion Australian dollars per year in royalty revenue. Estimates are that the coal industry contributes as much as one in every six dollars to the Queensland economy.
Although “coal” may seem like a dirty word these days, what many might not realize is how closely related coal and steel are. And, considering the fact that the global steel demand is expected to reach 1.616 billion tonnes in 2018 alone, it seems like an obvious conclusion to say that the world isn’t quite prepared to totally move away from coal as a resource just yet.
With each job comes its own set of safety regulations in order to protect its employees. The mining industry, in particular, requires many precautions in place to ensure the safety of those who work within it. Therefore, it is imperative that each mining employee takes these rules seriously.
Coal had been part of Australia’s history even before James Cook ever set foot on the continent. Although the coal industry did not become fully integrated into Australian society until the 1830s, it soon became a flourishing business as more free settlers made the trek. The success of the coal trade would then give way to more trade opportunities, including salt and lime, iron, copper, brass, foundries, soap and candles, and cloth and flour mills emerged with the introduction of free settlers.
Coking coal, otherwise known as metallurgical coal, differs from thermal coal which is used for energy and heating. It differs from thermal coal because of its carbon content and caking ability, which refers to the coal’s ability to be converted into coke.