RISING SUN: The sun rising over India's Taj Mahal.
RISING SUN: The sun rising over India's Taj Mahal. Katie Hall

India presents 'golden opportunity' for Aussie coal

A NEW report has identified India as a key new thermal coal export market, potentially creating 4000 jobs in regional Australia, providing an extra $3.4 billion in export income and $240 million of additional royalties.

Prepared by the Office of the Chief Economist, the Coal in India 2019 report states India's growing demand for energy presents an opportunity for Australia to boost its thermal coal exports.

The report explores recent updates in India's energy, electricity and mining policies and how they could drive demand for thermal coal.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who welcomed the report, said in 2017, there were still 168 million people living in India without electricity.

"If we could lift our thermal coal exports to India to the same market share we currently have with China - to just under 25 per cent of their imports - we could export an additional 37 million tonnes of high energy, low ash thermal coal,” Mr Canavan said.

"That is the equivalent of three or four new Adani Carmichael-sized coal mines. If this investment occurred in the Galilee Basin, it would open up a new, sustainably-sized coal basin in Queensland.

"Based on current average prices for 2019, this would bring in an extra $3.4 billion in export income and provide around $240 million of additional royalties for state governments to invest in schools, hospitals and roads.”

Mr Canavan said India presented significant untapped potential for Australia's coal sector - in 2018, Australia exported 5 million tonnes of thermal coal to India, which was 2.3 per cent of thermal coal exports and only 4.5 per cent of India's thermal coal imports.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said there were also rich new opportunities for the export of Queensland zinc, gold and LNG as a result of India's continuing economic growth and urban development.

"Queensland should keep playing to our strengths. And that means seizing the opportunities to meet an expanding market for coal and other Queensland commodities,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Minister Canavan will visit India next week to meet with resource industry leaders.



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