Prime Mister Julia Gillard on Tuesday said that the A$4.7-billion takeover bid for Queensland coal miner Macarthur Coal was confirmation of the viability of the coal industry, despite the announcement of a A$23/t carbon tax.

Gillard told the ABC Radio that the takeover offer was the largest of its kind for a coal company in Australian history.

“You couldn’t get a better indication that business people see a good future in coal mining in this country. There’s more certainty now than there was before Sunday,” she said.

The proposal was conditional upon the successful completion of a due diligence, which would be completed in a “timely manner”, the US company stated.

An offer for Macarthur would be subject to a minimum 50.01% acceptance condition, Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval, as well as other regulatory approvals.

Macarthur is the world`s largest producer of seaborne low-volatile pulverised coal injection coal, with production and development assets in the Bowen basin. The company controls some 270-million tons of coal reserves, and some 2.3-billion tons of coal resources.

The Gillard-led government announced the details of its planned carbon tax over the weekend, which would impose a A$23/t tax on carbon for Australia`s 500 largest emitters.

The government was putting aside some A$1.3-billion as a Coal Sector Jobs Package to support jobs in the Australian coal industry during the move to what has been referred to as a “clean energy future”.

Carbon price impact will be low – PM

The Prime Minister said the impact of a $23/t carbon price on the industry will be low “ around $1.80/t of coal produced for coal mine fugitive greenhouse-gas emissions.

However, a small number of gassy mines will face significant cost pressures as a carbon price is introduced.

The government`s Coal Sector Jobs Package would assist the operators of these mines to support jobs and local communities, some of which rely heavily on coal mining employment. The package would provide financial assistance over six years to Australia`s most pollution-intensive coal mines and assist them to reduce their pollution.

Mining Job Information


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