COAL DRIVE: Gladstone Port is leading the charge of coal exports across Queensland, thanks to the Central Highlands.
COAL DRIVE: Gladstone Port is leading the charge of coal exports across Queensland, thanks to the Central Highlands. Brenda Strong

TOP TIER COAL: Central Highlands smashes record

NEW figures from the Queensland Resources Council show the Central Highlands region is a major contributor to a new Queensland record for coal exports.

With 21.43 million tonnes of metallurgical and thermal coal exported in June from across the state, it's an 11 per cent increase on the same month last year.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Central Highlands had some powerhouse mines that contributed to the record figure.

"Central Queensland is a heavy lifter in terms of Queensland's coal exports with two of the largest- producing coalmines located in the region," he said.

"Rolleston and Blackwater are top tier coal producers supporting jobs and paying royalty taxes.

"Central Queensland is a diversified coal region producing 29 per cent of the state's metallurgical coal."

Mr Macfarlane said the 11 per cent increase on the same month last year highlighted the increasing demand from world markets for Queensland's coal.

"Queensland's coal is the commodity of choice with our high-quality thermal coal needed to power high-efficient, low-emission coal-fired power plants in Asia and our metallurgical coal used to make steel in building the bridges and skyscrapers in modern cities," he said.

"Every tonne of coal exported helps to pay for roads, schools and hospitals that all Queenslanders benefit from."

The data from Queensland's major ports found the majority were operating above average monthly volumes, with the Port of Gladstone recording a five million tonne increase in coal exports as a result of improved efficiencies and growing demand from overseas customers.

Bowen Basin Mining Club director Jodie Currie said it was an exciting time in the resources sector.

"With mines such as Bluff PCI shipping their first coal recently and a strong pipeline of projects in approvals stage, Queensland is in a strong position to support thousands of direct and indirect jobs while adding billions to the state's economy," she said.

"It's exciting to see the continued growth within both thermal and metallurgical coal, particularly as mines are increasing productivity and efficiency.

"We've noticed that our members, particularly METS (mining equipment, technology and services) businesses, are enjoying the increased confidence that comes with a strong export environment."



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