Mining Queensland For A Variety Of Resources
Mining Queensland soil was first undertaken in the 1800`s. In those days it was primarily gold that attracted potential prospectors. Since then, there have been many other valuable resources unearthed in the region from silver, copper and lead to gemstones, coal and most recently, natural gas.
While gold opened the door to the industry, it was coal that put it over the top. There are more than 30 billion tonnes of coal reserves identified in the region and Queensland is currently one of the single largest producers of coal on an annual basis worldwide. That resource continues to be explored, with new mines in the Bowen Basin commencing production in just the last two years.
The production of coal is extremely crucial, as the worldwide need for sustainable energy resources has become more pressing. With a record 190 million tonnes produced in 2008-09 alone, mining Queensland coal resources continues to be an extremely profitable undertaking. More than 38 countries across the globe have imported coal from the region and those numbers promise to increase over time.
An equally important byproduct of coal mine operations is coal seam gas, or CSG. This is primarily methane gas, expelled as water is removed from a coal seam. CSG has been identified as an important energy resource, as it is a clean form of gas that allows for natural power that can be tapped into without producing environmental damage.
This instantly made it a favorite of the sustainable energy advocates and mining Queensland suddenly took on a whole new outlook as it stepped to the forefront of this increasingly important industry. The State Government was one of the first to get onboard with this new resource and by 2005, they were requiring at least 13 percent of all electricity to be sourced from CSG.
Of course, coal and coal seam gas are hardly the only resources to be found in Queensland. Minerals and gemstones including copper, lead, silver, bauxite, sapphire and opal have all been found in appreciable quantities and continue to be heavily mined in the region. Diamond mining was not quite as successful and there are currently no large-scale diamond mines operational.
There is still another area where mining Queensland is branching out, and that is uranium mining. With more than 100,000 tonnes of uranium oxide believed to exist in the region, the government decided it would resume uranium mine operations that had previously been shut down. New uranium mining is set to begin, under strict safety guidelines, in the next few years.
As long as Queensland remains a rich resources for natural substances like coal, copper and gas, companies will continue to tap into those supplies and the mining industry will continue to flourish. It`s a profitable arrangement that has put the region on the map and keeps it at the forefront as one of the most successful industrial centres of the world.