Mining jobs hinge on the activity in global markets which creates demand for high quality Australian coal.
Asian countries like China are reforming their internal policies and Australian coal mining companies could benefit greatly from the new changes.
Australian coal mining companies are set to benefit from the latest reforms that have been initiated by the Chinese government. These new reforms are aimed at closing large Chinese coal mines that create excessive amounts of pollution as well as as being unprofitable. New coal mines with an annual output of under 300,000 tonnes will simply not be allowed to be developed.
These new developments are yet another indication of Southeast Asia`s power sector moving away from expensive gas energy to be more reliant of good quality, cleaner burning coal by the end of 2020. High gas prices in Asia are driven by LNG demand from countries like as Japan and South Korea – whose nuclear power generators have created an energy crisis. Add this to the stringent pollution control measures introduced by the Chinese government, we start to see new opportunities for supply unfolding for Australian mining companies.
Unsafe and unprofitable Chinese coal mines will be closed
The new rules also apply to existing Chinese coal mines with an output under 90,000 tonnes whereby such mines will be gradually eradicated. In a push to clean up the coal mining industry in China and to dramatically improve the horrendous coal mine accident rate in China, any coal mines that fail to meet new safety standards will be instantly closed.
China will tighten approvals of its new coal mines and place an immediate ban on cheap, low quality coal imports. This is a positive step forward for the Chinese nation as it tries to step the growth of unorganised coal production and is seen to be socially responsible by promoting sustainable development of their coal industry.
In 2013, China’s coal imports were in the region of 289 million tonnes, of which 25 per cent was reported to be of low-quality coal, which was a major contributor to the poor air quality and increased smog in some of China’s regional hotspots.
Global coal prices could be boosted by China’s new mining reform policies
The reduction of Chines coal mines it seems could reduce the coal supply which would in theory boost coal prices. Since 2005, Chinese coal mines have been closing at a fast rate, with some 10,000 mines being closed by the end of 2012. This leaves approximately 14,000 operating coal mines throughout China in 2014.
China’s coal consumption forecast to rise
China’s coal consumption has been tipped by experts to increase by 37.1 per cent by 2020, according to the China National Coal Association report. Considering the proximity of China to Australia and the high quality coal deposits found in the coal rich regions of Queensland, mining jobs could be on the increase as demand is set to soar.
Coal consumption in China was about 3.5 billion tonnes in 2012, the Chinese Coal Association expects this to increase 1.4 billion tonnes to around 4.8 billion tonnes by the year 2020.
The Chinese Coal Association vice president Liang Jiakun said that coal still plays a dominant part in China’s development plans and enormous potential for growth as coal remains China’s major energy source accounting for about 60 per cent of the country’s primary energy resources.
Stay up to date with more mining news stories like this
The Australian coal industry has had a rough ride these past few months, with 2013 being a tough year for Australian coal mining companies. News of workforce reductions and mine closures created negative sentiment across the industry as coal prices dropped and Asian countries took their foot of the infrastructure development plans for a while. Every industry has an in-breathing and exhaling process, where times change, demand slows and new ideas must be enacted to prepare for the inevitable rise of mining activity which is driven by developing nations like China.
This current article is but one of a series of news reports by iMINCO to help people who are looking for career opportunities in the Australian coal mining industry. When you see just how many small success stories are emerging from the coal mining regions of Queensland and NSW you start to see a new spark of hope, that is set to once again ignite a new round of mining activity in Australia, which will in turn create 1000’s of mining jobs.
For new starters in the mining industry, this is the perfect time to start to prepare for future coal mining careers. There will always be coal mining jobs in Australia, there are huge coal deposits yet to be mined. These deposits contain billions of tonnes of high quality coking and thermal coal, with a mining lifecycle of an estimated 30 years or more.
- Keep up to date with developments in the coal mining industry in Australia by subscribing to the free iMINCO Project News email newsletter. You will get mining jobs emailed to you weekly.
- Find a huge selection of mining jobs on the iMINCO mining jobs board.
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