PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Queensland’s exports have risen to a record A$73.8-billion in the year to May, with coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports driving the growth.
Coal exports reached A$32.8-billion in the year to May, which was up more than A$5-billion on the previous year, reflecting the improvement in volumes from a year ago when exports were disrupted following Cyclone Debbie, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
LNG, alumina and semi-soft coking metallurgical coal exports reached $20.9-billion in the period, with the exports classified as confidential.
“LNG exports increased by over half a billion dollars in the year to May 2018 to a total of A$2.99-billion. In a pleasing sign for domestic supply, that increase reflected rising export prices rather than volumes, which have stabilised below capacity as more Queensland gas goes into the domestic market,” Palaszczuk said.
Meanwhile, mineral exports increased to A$7.4-billion, up by more than A$634-million compared with the previous year.
“Many of these metals are in growing demand for the production of solar panels, wind turbines and large-scale batteries, as the growing demand for renewable energy continues,” the Premier said.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) CEO Ian Macfarlane said that the resources sector contributed almost A$60-billion, or 80%, of the total exports.
“For every 10 dollars Queensland earns through exports, the resources sector contributes 8 of those 10 dollars,” he said.
“This is a tribute to the more than 280 000 Queenslanders working directly and indirectly in the resources sector. To those men and women, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, in the regions and the south-east – please accept the congratulations on behalf of all Queenslanders.”
Meanwhile, the Queensland government on Thursday announced the next round of the joint government-industry Collaborative Exploration Initiative, which will consist of A$2.4-million worth of grants.
“This initiative has generated 48 new mineralisation discoveries over the past ten years,” Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
“I am confident that these grants will lead to more exciting new discoveries.”
Lynham said the programme had been changed in response to industry feedback so that successful applicants could choose the calendar year in which their work could be delivered.
“This means Queensland’s wet season can be avoided and on-ground time maximised,” he said.
“With the challenges of discovering new deposits, and at greater depths, the initiative has been expanded to support a broader range of exploration techniques, giving industry a greater range of tools to use.”
Applications will be decided and awarded before the end of this year.