Australia to again ride on the back of coal and iron ore
Australia will again ride on the back of surging coal and iron ore export prices as prices jump 180 per cent above the market doldrums of earlier this year.
Iron ore is our second largest export at 15 per cent, being ahead of coal by just four per cent.
Queensland’s high-quality coking coal hit $253.50 a tonne, up from $90 in June, a rise of 180 per cent.
Thermal coal has smashed the $100US barrier and is now $108.60US, a long way from its $54 a tonne just months ago.
On their present course, if the present spot prices flow through to contract prices for coking and thermal coal, exports could be boosted by $40 billionUS.
The much-maligned Adani coal mine proposed for Central Queensland may have taken a step closer after the Labor State Government, in spite of impending doomsday cries from the Greens, seems set for it to go ahead.
If the $21.7 billion Indian – owned mine should begin construction in 2017, pending last- stand legal action by green and indigenous groups, Queensland will hugely benefit in terms of construction jobs.
When the coal starts to be exported after a two year construction period, the State will reap royalties that have been absent since the mining downturn began three years ago.
The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have all been declared critical infrastructure – the first time this has happened in seven years.
As well, the project’s special “prescribed project” status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said his decision would mean less red tape for the proposed project and the jobs and business opportunities it offered.
This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time – the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line, and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade,” he said.
It makes it more efficient to establish easements for infrastructure like the water pipeline and the rail, and expands the Coordinator-General’s power to ensure timely approvals.” Dr Lynham said the declaration was based on advice from the independent Coordinator-General, who continued to meet regularly with Adani to progress the project.
When this government came to power in early 2015, it is fair to say that there was a long way to go with the approvals that Adani needed before they could start construction.
Katters Australia party has long championed the mine with Bob Katter telling the State Government it would be a “no brainer” to stop it.
He said to stop the mine based on totally unscientific claims that it would somehow harm the Great Barrier Reef was “just the prattle of the Greens, that most people no longer listen to.”