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Coming Events
$120,000 to boost Bowen Basin's mining skills: Bligh
Media Release
First quarter 2006 coal results impressive
Media Release
First results from mining exploration program released
Media Release
An international approach to mine safety
Media Release
Media Release
New record for Queensland coal exports
Media Release
Media Release
Pipeline to secure water supplies for Bowen Basin
Media Release
Qld coal mining jobs almost double since 1998
Media Release
$50 Million Mining Skills For Growth Package Launched
Media Release
Mickel backs growth in demand to support PNG and coal seam gas
Media Release
Minister makes decision on Moranbah development
Media Release
Academy to Help Students Win Jobs in Booming Resources Sector
Media Release
Green Light For Water Infrastructure Project
Media Release
Queensland Govt Invites Community Comment On Northern Missing Link
Media Release
Queensland's coal industry in the spotlight in Japan
Media Release
Bowen Basin land release for coal exploration
Media Release
Massive New Coal Project A Potential Boost To Queensland
Media Release
State fast-tracks $2.1 Billion Coal Planning
Media Release
CH4 Provides Power Boost to Regional Queensland
Media Release
Hundreds Of Jobs & Export Millions Flow From Dawson Mine Project
Media Release
Media Release
New Smart State Academy to Target Shortages In Minerals And Energy Industries
Media Release
Media Release
Gas Pipeline A Milestone Towards Power For North
Media Release
New Storage Boosts Water Supply to Bowen Basin Coal Mines
Media Release
Project Update
Bill to defeat CSG coal conflict
Media Release
BMA gold at export awards
Media Release
The Second Newsletter for Clemont Coal Mine Project. The EIS is now available and submisions should be made by 13 September to the Department of State Development
New Petroleum and Gas Laws Introduced To Parliament
Media Release
Updated population projections
Media Release
Queensland sets new coal export record
Media Release
Bigger Rolleston Project to Create Hundreds of Jobs
Media Release
EIS for Clermont Coal Project to be released by Rio Tinto Coal Australia
News Story
Ergon Energy Lets Contract for $6 Million Power Plant at Moranbah to support Major Townsville Power Project
News Story
Blackwater - 400 news jobs in coal project
News Story
ACARP Newsletter Released
Web Connect
December Issue of Queensland Government Mining Journal Released
Web Connect
Pacific Coal renamed Rio Tinto Coal Australia
Web Connect
ABARE releases 2003-04 Commodity Forecasts
Web Connect
Queensland Mining Council changes Name
News Story
Queensland: Smart at Cleaner Energy Research
Media Release
Massive Boost to Queensland Coal Exports and Jobs
Media Release
Queensland Premier opens $460m Hail Creek Coal Mine
Media Release
Record production and export levels for Queensland Coal Industry
Media Release
Coal Publication available
News Story
Premier Honours Pacific Coal
News Story
The Case for Coal
News Story

Coming Events

17 May 2006

Social and Economic Impacts of Mining

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$120,000 to boost Bowen Basin's mining skills: Bligh

MACKAY: A one-off $120,000 Department of State Development, Trade and Innovation grant will go toward the establishment of a key Bowen Basin centre to train tomorrow's much-needed mine workers.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Anna Bligh announced the funding in Mackay today for the Coalfields Engineering Skills Centre, to be located at the Moranbah High School.

Ms Bligh said the $120,000 State Government contribution toward the establishment of the centre was expected to be the catalyst for even more funding from industry and the Federal Government , both of which have already made significant contributions to the total cost of the project, which is expected to be $2 million.

"We are all aware of the serious skills shortage the mining industry is facing in the region and, in addition, a lack of educational facilities offering trade training is a major reason why families leave the area," Ms Bligh said.

"To date over $1.2 million has been committed to this Smart State project but I'm sure this State Government contribution will see an increase in the level of further financial commitment.

"It's vital we provide the industry with a skilled workforce, particularly as our mining sector rides the current boom.

"The State Government is actively trying to attract more and more skilled workers to Queensland, particularly the state's central region, but this centre will be an added bonus for locals.

"This centre will enable hundreds of students in the area who otherwise would have had to leave town to obtain vocational trade training locally."

Ms Bligh said the Coalfields Engineering Skills Centre will provide pre-vocational and vocational training and will be used by mining and engineering firms and TAFE and registered training organisations for engineering apprenticeships.

She said it was expected around 70 apprentices would be enrolled in the first year of the centre's operation, growing to about 100 in three years.

In addition, the centre will include a robotics training facility and six new jobs will be created for teaching staff.

The Federal Government has so far committed $850,000 to the project and a further $370,000 has come from industry organisations including BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, Anglo Coal, Macarthur Coal, the Park Downs mine employees fund, Leightons, Goldings, the Mining Industry Skills Centre and the Belyando Shire Council.

Media Contact Deputy Premier's Office 3224 6900


First quarter 2006 coal results impressive

Queensland coal production and exports have remained at record levels in the first quarter of this year (January to March) according to statistics released by the State Government.

Mines Minister Henry Palaszczuk said coal production remained at more than 14 million tonnes for the March quarter compared to the same period last year, while exports continued to be in excess of 11 million tonnes.

"The demand for Queensland produced coking and thermal coal overseas remains strong," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"The coal industry is very important to the Queensland economy and its strong performance augurs well for dependent families, businesses and communities and the State in general."

Mr Palaszczuk said the jobs growth in the coal industry continued to increase with 18,504 employees at the end of March this year compared to 15,255 in March last year and 11,705 in March 2004.

Copy of the latest Queensland coal mining statistics are available at

Media contact: Kirby Anderson 3896 3689 or

6 June 2006
First results from mining exploration program released

Results from a gravity survey in southern Queensland will help to discover potential coal and coal seam gas resources in the Bowen and SuratBasins, Natural Resources, Mines and Water Minister Henry Palaszczuk said today.

Mr Palaszczuk said the results were the first released under the Queensland Government's $20-million, four-year Smart Exploration initiative.

"Smart Exploration targets four areas across Queensland that have the highest potential for the discovery of additional mineral and energy resources," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"The Bowen and SuratBasins have been targeted as part of Smart Exploration because they are major energy provinces with abundant reserves of coal and coal seam gas but have the potential for additional discoveries."

"The gravity survey, which measures the density contrast of rocks, covered over 83,000 square kilometres and collected data at 5000 stations in a four-kilometre by four-kilometre grid pattern."

"The results from the survey can be used with other information such as magnetic, seismic and radiometric data, along with previous drill hole information to enable exploration companies to target prospective areas in the Bowen and SuratBasins."

The Bowen and SuratBasins cover a large area and information from the gravity survey will help narrow down the more prospective regions for coal and coal seam gas. This will help reduce the cost, risk and uncertainty involved in exploration.

The survey looked at the underlying geology of the area and the data will be used to complement and refine what is already known about the structure and geology of the basins.

Information from the Bowen/Surat gravity survey is available on DVD from or online at Geoscience Australia


Media contact: Kirby Anderson 3896 3689 or

25th May 2006

An international approach to mine safety

Queensland's world class mine safety training expertise is helping to make mining industries across the globe safer, Mines Minister Henry Palaszczuk said today.

For the next two months, six officers from the Department of Geology and Minerals of Vietnam are in Queensland undertaking mine safety management training.

The delegation, which includes three mining engineers, a mineral processing engineer and two surveyors, will be based at Simtars, the Queensland Government's industry-leading mine safety research organisation.

Mr Palaszczuk said their training would focus on areas such as spontaneous combustion, strata control, surveying, explosives and mine site rehabilitation.

They will also learn the latest in mine incident investigation and reporting and electrical safety in mines.

"The aim of this project is to equip the participants with a working knowledge of the systems that we have in place in Queensland," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"They will be able to take back to Vietnam everything they have learned and apply it to their own industry."

The group will also visit the major mining areas in the State, including MountIsa, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Mt Morgan and the BowenBasin coal fields.

Mr Palaszczuk said the Government was also preparing to install, commission and train staff at the Singareni Collieries Company in India in the operation of Camgas mine gas monitoring systems.

Developed by Simtars, Camgas is an ultra-fast micro gas chromatograph used in analysing complex mixes of gas.

Along with specialised software, it determines the toxicity and explosive potential of gases in underground coal mines. It can quickly detect dangerous conditions and provide an early warning system against a possible disaster.

Six of the latest Camgas systems were sold to China early last year.

Later this month, staff in the Department will travel to the company's site at Kothagudem in south India to undertake installation and training to install the system.

Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 3896 3694.


The official opening of the $90 million Minerva Coal Mine in the BowenBasin is another boost to the State's booming coal industry, Premier Peter Beattie announced today.

A joint venture between publicly-listed Felix Resources (70% ownership) and the Sojitz Corporation of Japan (30%), the Minerva mine is supplying coal for power generation and steel making.

"Construction at Minerva started in November 2004, its first coal was mined in July 2005 and its first shipment left Gladstone in November last year," said Mr Beattie.

"Minerva now is ramping up to 2.5 million tonnes a year and exporting into markets such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and India," he said.

"With Queensland's coal exports already worth an estimated $11 billion per annum and accounting for one third of our State's merchandise export income, Minerva's contribution to total export output as well as the regional economy is important.

"During the construction phase, the Felix-Sojitz venture employed some 200 workers. Its mining operations meanwhile have a skilled, full-time workforce of 125, and these staff are living in and contributing to the Emerald and Bauhinia communities.

"Skilled jobs are vital to the local economy and to the State, and Minerva is providing these as well as looking at more on-the-job training places."

Mr Beattie said the coal sector's expansion has been met with strong State Government support, including initiatives under the $1 billion Queensland Skills Plan to provide more vocational education and training to meet industry's skills needs. As part of the package, the Government has announced a $37 million resources and infrastructure institute of technology to be established in Mackay to lead training for the energy, minerals processing and other sectors.

Further significant investments have been made by the Government into essential infrastructure, including the development and upgrade of rail and ports.

"For example, Queensland Rail has completed a $17 million rail loop to convey coal from Minerva to the Port of Gladstone. This project was completed to schedule and $1.2 million under budget in January, and is part of a $3.5 billion Coal Rail Program."

Media inquiries: Alexia Deegan 3224 4500 / 0400 767 490

New record for Queensland coal exports

The Queensland coal industry set yet another new export record during the 2005 calendar year, according to a new State Government report.

Mines Minister Henry Palaszczuk said the report found a record 144 million tonnes of coal was exported by Queensland last year, representing a five million tonne or 3.5% increase over the 2004 result. The 2004 result was the previous record.

"Exports to Japan and India increased by 2.5 million tonnes each last year. In fact, coal exports to India increased by 17% compared to 2004," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"Exports to Taiwan rose by almost 27% to 8.4 million tonnes."

Mr Palaszczuk said production of saleable coal increased by 3.6 million tonnes to 173.2 million tonnes in 2005.

"In terms of employment, the coal mining sector directly employed 16,783 people at the end of 2005. This was an increase of 3628 positions or 27.5%," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"When this Government came to office in 1998 there were 8961 direct positions in Queensland's coal sector - almost half of what is the case today."

"The coal mining sector's performance in recent years has been very robust. The Government is working with the industry to strengthen its performance and outlook."

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water's (NRMW) Queensland Coal Report October-December 2005 can be found at

Media contact: Kirby Anderson 0418 197 350




Premier Peter Beattie announced today that a coal mine expected to generate $200 Million per year in exports has moved a step closer.

"QCoal's Sonoma Coal Project is a new hard coking coal deposit at the northern limit of Queensland's BowenBasin coalfields," the Premier said in State Parliament.

"The project is expected to contribute in excess of $200 Million per year in export revenue for Queensland and to directly employ 200 people during the construction period and create 110 full time jobs over the expected 15 year life of the mine."

"The Sonoma Infrastructure Facility, which covers approximately 302 hectares, will provide the necessary rail and other infrastructure to support the development, production and transport of coal from the Sonoma Coal Mine.

"Late last year, QCoal made an application to the Coordinator-General, requesting that the Sonoma Infrastructure Facility be approved as an infrastructure facility of significance under section 125 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.

"That approval has now been granted but the Queensland Government has made it clear to QCoal that is should reach a commercial agreement with affected landowners to purchase the land.

"However if a commercial agreement cannot be achieved within the timeframe provided for by the Act, the Coordinator-General may decide to compulsorily acquire the land required for the infrastructure facility.

"Compulsory acquisition is always a last resort option but Queensland needs the export dollars and the employment the Sonoma Coal Mine will generate," Mr Beattie said.

Media Contact: Premier's Office - (07) 3224 4500



Pipeline to secure water supplies for Bowen Basin

More secure water supplies for the State's expanding mining industry will become a reality with the commencement of a $270 million project to draw water from Burdekin Falls Dam and transport it 220 kilometres to the mining hub of Moranbah.

At the construction launch in Collinsville today, Water Minister Henry Palaszczuk said the project was a key water infrastructure initiative for the mining industry that would ensure Queensland continued as the nation's leading coal exporter.

By December 2006, the pipeline would deliver 9000 megalitres of water and further increase its capacity to 16,600 megalitres by July 2007.

"Our State's mining sector is witnessing major increases in international demand for coking coal with forecasts of a 28% increase over the next five years," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"Strategic developments such as the Burdekin to Moranbah Pipeline will ensure our mining industry can fully capitalise on this increasing demand," he said.

Mr Palaszczuk said the government had recognised the urgent need for increased water infrastructure in the Bowen Basin region and had fast-tracked approvals to allow construction on the project to commence as soon as possible.

"After three failed wet seasons, levels at Eungella Dam have diminished considerably and resulted in decreased water security for Bowen Basin mines.

"Without a decent wet season, Eungella dam cannot support further mine development, so an alternative water supply solution is essential," he said.

The development is a partnership between SunWater and the region's major coal mining companies.

"Over the past 12 months, SunWater, and six mining companies, have worked in partnership and committed funding to develop a solution to address immediate water shortage problems.

Mr Palasczcuk said the Burdekin to Moranbah Pipeline would be augmented by two additional pipeline spurs.

"Work has already commenced on a 40 kilometre eastern spur to Coppabella and the government this week granted approval for a 72 kilometre southern spur to Dysart."

"In order to progress the main pipeline project, SunWater has already delivered more than 20 kilometres of pipeline to strategic locations in readiness for commencement of pipe laying activities," he said.

Mr Palaszczuk said the three pipeline projects underway were a wholistic approach to water solutions for the region, and would ensure pressure on the existing Eungella Dam was eased during the drought.

"These projects, in addition to the recently commissioned Gattonvale Offstream Storage, will significantly ease demand on Eungella Dam and will all play an essential role in water supply management now and in the future.

"These projects are a clear indication of the Beattie government's commitment to water issues and the confidence the mining industry has in SunWater to offer solutions," he said.

Media contact: Kirby Anderson 0418 197 350


Qld coal mining jobs almost double since 1998

The number of people employed in Queensland's coal mines has almost doubled since the Beattie Government was elected in June 1998, Mines Minister Henry Palaszczuk said today.
Mr Palaszczuk said new State Government statistics showed the number of people directly employed by the coal mining sector had increased from 8961 in 1997-98 to 16791 at the end of October last year.
"That's an increase of 7830 positions or 87.3%," Mr Palaszczuk said.
"The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water (NRMW) latest monthly coal statistics (for October 2005) highlight the importance of the coal industry to Queensland."
"In October, the number of jobs increased by 378, the equivalent of 12 new positions each day."
"The growth in jobs is good news, but it also highlights the on-going challenge for the mines sector of securing the necessary skills."
Mr Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government was strongly supporting the coal mining industry, including its $20 million Smart Exploration program.
"Recent announcements of major expansions, such as Macarthur Coal's plan to develop up to five new mines by 2010, shows the job growth in the coal sector since 1998 is set to continue," Mr Palaszczuk said.
The NRMW monthly October 2005 coal statistics were released this month and they can be found at


$50 Million Mining Skills For Growth Package Launched

A $50 million mining industry teaching and research package involving a partnership between BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and the University of Queensland was announced today by Premier Peter Beattie.

BMA today committed an additional $6.3 million a year for at least 3 years to training the coal miners of the future.

"This brings BMA's commitment to developing its skills for the future to more than $50 million over the next 3 years, in the 'Skills for Growth' package," Mr Beattie said.

"It's a significant and necessary investment in the industry's future. We are working very closely with the mining industry to address the shortage of skilled workers."

BMA has committed $3.43 million a year to a program called "new pathways into mining through cadetships" and $2.18 million to "diversifying and extending professional skills."

30 cadetships will be awarded in 2006.

BMA is also boosting its annual commitment of $160,000 by $136,000 for mining scholarships. 16 new scholarships will be awarded in 2006.

In partnership with the University of Queensland, BMA will commit $270,000 a year for five years to support the establishment of two new teaching and research positions, the BMA Chairs of Mining Engineering and Minerals Processing.

BMA has also formed a partnership with Central Queensland University to provide $250,000 a year for 3 years for new BMA Cadetship and Engineering Extension Programs.

Last year BMA's production capacity was 52 million tonnes. It is rising to 59 million tonnes a year by the end of 2006 and options are being considered for further expansion to 80 million tonnes a year by 2010.

Media contact: (07) 3224 4500

Mickel backs growth in demand to support PNG and coal seam gas

Queensland Energy Minister John Mickel today backed the demand growth in the state and national gas markets to provide competitive markets for both coal seam gas and Papua New Guinea Project gas.

Addressing the Australia and PNG Gas conference in Brisbane, Mr Mickel said it was not a case of "either/or", but that coal seam gas and gas from the proposed Papua New Guinea Gas Project would contribute to a vibrant, energetic and competitive eastern Australian gas market.

"Gas demand in Queensland has grown significantly in the past decade and with major industrial and generation developments on the drawing board, gas demand will continue to grow," Mr Mickel said.

"This offers opportunities for new gas supply projects such as the PNG Gas Project, as well as for existing gas supply options, such as coal seam gas.

"Ultimately, more gas supply options will increase competition and that is good news for customers."

Mr Mickel said the PNG Project had the potential to further diversify Queensland and Australia's energy supply options, but that like coal seam gas, it would have to compete for customers and meet community expectations of reliability, affordability and sustainability.

"If it can do that, all the indications are that the market will be there," he said.

"The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics has forecast Australia's gas market will grow at a rate of 3.3 percent a year.

"This means gas will represent around 32 percent of the growth in total energy consumption in Australia, with substantial growth in the electricity generation and industrial market segments.

"The Queensland Government's Special Fiscal and Economic Statement, October 2005, forecasts economic growth of 4.25 percent in 2005-06 exceeding national growth for the tenth consecutive year.

"Queensland's forecast growth in electricity consumption over the next two years (8.8 percent) is more than three times the growth rate of the rest of the states (2.7 percent) participating the National Electricity Market.

"The State Government has provided the climate for investment in gas-fired generation to help meet that forecast growth, through initiatives such as the 13% Gas Scheme.

"In that positive climate, more than 600 megawatts of gas-fired generation has come on line in Queensland since May 2000 and projects that total over 2000 megawatts of gas-fired generation are currently in the various phases of development."

Mr Mickel said that both coal seam gas and the PNG Gas Project appeared to be "for the long haul".

"Coal seam gas production has expanded from 2 petajoules or about 3 percent of the state's gas market in 2001, to now supply over 35 percent of the Queensland market and 18 percent of the New South Wales market.

"PNG Project proponents have indicated the project now has customer commitments of around 200 petajoules of gas a year over the first 20 years of operation of the pipeline."

Mr Mickel said both coal seam gas and PNG gas supplies had the potential to boost regional economies, not just through provision of a competitive energy supply but also through jobs associated with the construction of the often large infrastructure involved in the industry and the ongoing production and operation of gas fields.

Media contact: Ian Gray 3225 1819


Minister makes decision on Moranbah development

Local Government and Planning Minister Desley Boyle today told Parliament she had decided to not approve a proposed residential development on top of coal deposits in Moranbah in Central Queensland.

The State Government will, however, establish a Management Group involving the Belyando Shire Council and mining companies to manage growth and new infrastructure through a Master Plan for Moranbah.

In August Ms Boyle used her reserve powers under the Integrated Planning Act to "call in" a planning decision by the Belyando Shire Council.

The Council had approved a development application to turn 63 hectares of rural land into 350 residential lots.

"The land contains valuable coal deposits. A Mineral Development Licence had been issued in 1998 to explore these deposits and this should have been taken into account by the Council when considering the application before it.

"The refusal of this residential subdivision will not leave Moranbah with a shortage of housing sites.

"Two independent Town Planning Consultants have produced separate reports and both indicate Moranbah's immediate land supply is secure for the next two years.

"To plan for the future the State Government will establish the Moranbah Growth Management Group (MGMG) to manage the issues of growth and new infrastructure through a Master Plan.

"The Management Group will be chaired by the Member for Mackay Tim Mulherin and the Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce will be the deputy chair.

"The Management Group will provide for orderly planning and secure housing development and community infrastructure for the next 30 years and beyond.

"It will report back to the Queensland Government's Coal Industry Taskforce.

"The Taskforce will not only provide support to help resolve the issues in Moranbah but will also establish benchmarks for other coal towns which may be affected by similar growth, particularly towns in the Bowen Basin.

"The completion of a Master Plan is supported by the State Government, by mining companies, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), and Anglo Coal, by the Belyando Shire Council and by the community.

"While Moranbah is mostly surrounded by coal deposits, there is an opportunity for planned expansion to the South West of the town providing for every type of mixed housing - catering for families, young couples and individual workers for the next 30 years and beyond.

"With the expansive growth of the coal industry in Queensland expected to last a number of years, the Moranbah Growth Management Group will ensure urban growth and employment expansion will not sterilise resources and will provide community infrastructure and services for current and future generations of residents.

"Of major concern to the residents of Moranbah has been the potential for open cut mining, with its associated issues of dust, noise, washplants and stockpiles, to be undertaken on Mining Leases close to the town.

"While this decision does not and can not directly address this issue, I am sympathetic to the concerns expressed to me on my recent visit to Moranbah.

"I believe the formation of the MGMG will effectively manage these issues and Environmental Impact Assessments will be heavily conditioned to adequately deal with the community's concerns.

"It is expected that the Belyando Shire Council as a member of the MGMG will facilitate the consultation and activities of the group with other stakeholders while providing their expertise and coordination as the local authority.

"While it is a serious decision to overturn the decision of the local council I have done so with the broader and longer term interests of the residents of Moranbah in mind," Ms Boyle said.


Media contact: 3227-8819

Academy to Help Students Win Jobs in Booming Resources Sector

A new academy will provide students with a direct route into the booming resources sector, helping to ease skills shortages so that further jobs can be created and further economic benefits provided for all Queenslanders.

Premier Peter Beattie today launched the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy, a partnership of the Queensland Government's Department of Education and the Arts, Queensland Resources Council, and training and academic providers.

"This is a Smart State initiative designed to capture the hearts and minds of students to encourage them to take up careers in the minerals and energy sector," said Mr Beattie.

The Academy involves three hubs, at Mt Isa, Moranbah and Gladstone, and 19 'gateway' high schools, which will develop and promote curriculum structures and enable students to access a broad range of minerals and energy-related learning and career opportunities.

This will involve close contact with Queensland Resources Council member companies, including work experience and other on-site activities.

"The Academy was developed in response to skills shortages in the minerals and energy sector, which is currently experiencing significant growth, particularly because of increasing demand for resources from countries such as China," said Mr Beattie.

"We need a skilled workforce if we are to make the most of this boom in demand and create further jobs and further economic benefits for all Queenslanders.

"Unless we produce the people with the skills to discover resources, develop them and run the operations we won't be able to create the thousands of potential jobs that major ventures provide - and we will lose the potential revenue they generate."

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said "The initiative demonstrates how government and industry can work together to ensure Queensland continues to be Australia's economic powerhouse.

"Our own studies have shown that we need to ensure that upcoming generations are aware of the many career opportunities available in the sector."

Media contacts: Premier's Office 3224 4500

Green Light For Water Infrastructure Project

The Queensland Government has cleared the way for completion of the $300 million Moranbah water Pipeline Projects in the coal-rich Bowen Basin.

Premier, Peter Beattie and Deputy Premier Anna Bligh said the water infrastructure projects are vital for Queensland's multi-billion dollar mining industry in the Northern Bowen Basin.

"The Moranbah Pipeline Projects consist of the Burdekin Pipeline Project being delivered by SunWater from the Gorge Weir on the Burdekin River to Moranbah," Mr Beattie said.

"It also includes two other smaller pipelines which will deliver water to new and existing mines east and south of Moranbah.

"Approximately 300 workers will be employed on the construction of the pipelines and it will enable increased coal production of up to 60 million tonnes and a potential increase in employment at the relevant mines of over 4000 jobs.

"Any setback or delay in accessing land or obtaining project approvals could seriously delay the intended delivery of these projects by the end of 2006.

"This could have potentially devastating consequences for the local communities and mining companies reliant on water.

"This is why my Government has declared the Moranbah Pipeline Projects as 'works' under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, so that we can use relevant powers, if needed, to make sure the projects are finished on time."

Ms Bligh said the powers relate to land access and acquisition, opening and closing of roads, environmental coordination and access to construction materials.

"Water in the region's main water source, the Eungella Dam, is currently well below capacity," Ms Bligh said.

"Therefore it is essential that the Queensland Government does everything in its power to assist SunWater to complete these additional infrastructure projects by the scheduled finish date.

"The pipelines assist the continued development of our mining industry as well as reduce pressure on existing supplies used by local communities."

Mr Beattie said his Government had recently released a comprehensive plan to meet the State's future water needs for consumption and the environment.

"Water is liquid gold and is essential for the future economic development of our State," Mr Beattie said.

"This plan is an integrated reform package of seven strategies, to be delivered over the next five years, to make sure this State does not run out of water and we are smart about how we manage this valuable resource.

"Infrastructure such as these pipelines are a key part of our plan."

Mr Beattie said the pipeline projects were also being advanced within the planning framework of the Central Queensland Water Supply Strategy and the Coal Infrastructure Coordination Group established by the Queensland Government.

Commercial water supply contracts with mining industry customers will underpin SunWater's financing of the Moranbah Pipeline Projects. Work on the pipelines can now commence as soon as these contracts are finalised.

23 September, 2005

Media inquiries: 3224 4500

Queensland Govt Invites Community Comment On Northern Missing Link

The Queensland Government is inviting Queenslanders to have a say on the scope of an environmental statement on the proposed Northern Missing Link rail line in Central Queensland.

Premier Peter Beattie and Transport Minister Paul Lucas today released the draft terms of reference for the environmental impact statement on the project, and welcomed public comment.

"The proposed $600 million Northern Missing Link between North Goonyella and Newlands would enable coal from the Bowen Basin coalfields to be railed to Abbot Point, near Bowen," Mr Beattie said.

"It would involve building a new rail line of more than 70 km, and upgrading the line from Newlands to Abbot Point

"We want the environmental impact statement to be thorough and transparent, so we are inviting comment at this very early stage, on the draft terms of reference.

"This project would create about 900 jobs during construction, which could take place in 2007 and 2008," Mr Beattie said.

Mr Lucas said: "We will make sure that all environmental issues are ticked off, but I want to make it clear that this is a commercial project and the final go-ahead for construction will depend upon committed contracts from our coal miners.

"It also depends on the expansion of Abbot Point port going ahead. This could see coal handling facilities boosted to accommodate a throughput of 50 million tonnes per annum.

"While trains running on the line will initially be powered by diesel we are also considering electrification of the entire project.

"These are major infrastructure developments which could dramatically boost Queensland's potential to export more coal.

"Predictions for growth in demand for Queensland coal range between 5% and 13% per annum through to 2009-2010, and this will generate millions of dollars in royalties that the government will invest in hospitals, schools, roads, police stations and other services for Queenslanders," Mr Lucas said.

The Coordinator-General is managing the EIS and related assessment.

The draft Terms of Reference, which give the scope of investigations that Queensland Rail must undertake to complete the EIS, are at: or at .

They can also be obtained from the State Development and Innovation Centre in Mackay, and at the Nebo, Belyando and Bowen Shire Council offices.

The draft terms of reference will be advertised on Saturday in newspapers in Bowen, Mackay and Brisbane.

Written comments will be accepted until close of business on 3 October 2005, and should be addressed to:

Project Manager - Northern Missing Link Project
Project Delivery
The Coordinator-General
PO Box 15185

2 September 2005

Media contact: Minister Lucas' office - Ellen McIntyre: 3237 1947
Premier's office - 3224 4500


Queensland's coal industry in the spotlight in Japan

TOKYO: Queensland's clean coal technology and growing infrastructure were on show at an industry presentation in Japan today.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Henry Palaszczuk addressed representatives of Japan's clean coal industries and research agencies as part of the Clean Coal Japan Day 2005 Conference in Tokyo.

Mr Palaszczuk said Queensland began exporting coal to Japan more than 40 years ago and since then the relationship had gone from strength to strength.

"Japan is currently Queensland's largest customer for coal, buying around 50 million tonnes. This represents around 37 per cent of our coal exports," he said.

"Opportunities like this conference can only continue to build on that relationship and further strengthen the ties between us."

Mr Palaszczuk described how Queensland was entering a period of unprecedented development in its coal mines.

"With six new coal mines under construction, 11 expansions of existing mines, six committed projects and eight projects at an advanced stage of appraisal, Queensland's mining industry is growing faster than ever.

"And importantly, it remains a crucial contributor to the Queensland economy."

Mr Palaszczuk reassured delegates Queensland's coal infrastructure network was world standard and able to handle the industry's growth.

"Queensland has one of most well integrated coal handling infrastructures in the world and we are currently expanding.

"Over the next five years the amount of coal transported by rail to central Queensland ports for export is expected to increase by between five and 13 per cent per year, or between 215 and 235 million tonnes.

"Because of this expected growth, Queensland is fast-tracking infrastructure planning."

He said more than $2 billion had been allocated to a program of actions to ensure future demand would be met by Queensland's coal producers.

This included $1.4 billion of coal infrastructure projects that have already been committed and are underway, and over $1 billion for additional future projects to expand capacity.

Mr Palaszczuk also used the conference as an opportunity to inform the delegates about what Queensland was doing in relation to clean coal technology.

"Globally, it is recognised that although there are environmental issues, coal will continue to play a significant role as a primary fuel source for power generation for some time.

"That's why the Queensland Government is looking at the challenge of meeting stricter environmental standards and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels that can be maintained."

Mr Palaszczuk said the Government was looking at this challenge through a number of ways, the main one being through research and technology.

"Queensland played a foundation role in Coal 21, a national initiative aimed at significantly reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from coal based electricity generation, and the CSIRO now has its full compliment of coal-based research stationed in Brisbane.

"With Queensland's involvement in these research efforts our state is becoming known as one of the world leaders in clean coal technology."

Mr Palaszczuk said the Japanese industry representatives were impressed by what was happening in Queensland in relation to coal and were looking forward to continuing to build on their existing relationship.

Media contact: Caroline Kaurila 3896 3694.


Bowen Basin land release for coal exploration

New opportunities for mining and exploration companies will be opened up in Central Queensland's coal rich Bowen Basin after a land release by the Queensland Government.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Henry Palaszczuk said the Government was unlocking about 53,600 hectares of land for coal exploration at Taroborah, 20km west of Emerald.

"Taroborah was previously a restricted area which prohibited the grant of mining tenements for coal," he said.

"However, from September 12, 2005 applications for coal tenements may be made for this land."

Mr Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government and the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation had carried out joint drilling and geophysical research in the area.

"It is estimated that there are 157 million tonnes of coal in the area, 70 million tonnes of which may be suitable for open cut mining.

"The Taroborah land release will provide an opportunity for exploration companies to further appraise the thermal coal resources,'' he said.

Applications for exploration permits for coal within the Taroborah area can be lodged with any of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines regional and district Mining Registrars' offices.

These are located at Brisbane, Charters Towers, Emerald, Georgetown, Mareeba, Mount Isa, Quilpie, Rockhampton and Winton.

All applications will need to comply with the standard requirements for an exploration permit for coal under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and any applications lodged on the same business day will be considered competitive.

More information is available at

Media contact: 3896 3689 John Algate or 0418 197 350



Massive New Coal Project A Potential Boost To Queensland

Premier and Minister for Trade Peter Beattie today welcomed the signing of an agreement to undertake an exploration study on the massive Belvedere Coal Underground Project near Moura.

"Belvedere is estimated to contain 2.7 billion tonnes of hard coking coal," Mr Beattie said.

"It's still early days but if that's proved Belvedere has the potential to become a billion dollar project and potentially the biggest underground coal mine in Australia.

"A mine of that size would create more than 500 jobs during construction and then 500 operational jobs," Mr Beattie said.

"Based on current coal prices, it would generate about $1 billion a year in revenue and contribute significantly to Queensland's export earnings.

Mr Beattie made the announcement in an address to the 2005 Major Projects Conference, organised by the Queensland Government and attended by 750 delegates.

Brazilian resources giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) - the world's largest iron ore producer- has entered into an agreement with Aquila Resources Limited, and AMCI Holdings Australia Pty Ltd.

CVRD will pay US $2.5 million to both Aquila and AMCI and will undertake an Exploration Study. Following the Study CVRD has an option to acquire a 51% interest in the project by paying $US 45 million to both Aquila and AMCI.

"It's significant that one of the world's largest mining companies is investing in Queensland and it follows on from discussions I had with senior CVRD executives during my trip to Brazil in May last year," Mr Beattie said.

The project covers an area of 325 square kilometres, with a total strike length of 32 km and is located about 160 km west of the Port of Gladstone in the southern part of the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland.

It could potentially produce up to 12 million tonnes of hard coking coal per year, with a mine life in excess of 40 years.

Minister for State Development and Innovation Tony McGrady said the announcement is further proof that the mining industry is embracing the Smart State philosophy of adopting new technology and production methods.

"Until recently development of the significant coal resources in the Bowen Basin area has focused on open cut mining," Mr McGrady said.

"But the introduction of high productivity underground long wall mining and cost effective methane gas drainage systems have improved the outlook for developing the Belvedere Coal Province."

The coal would be exported through the Port of Gladstone.

Mr Beattie said the Central Queensland Port Authority has well advanced proposals to develop a new coal export terminal at Wiggins Island in Gladstone that could provide capacity for this and other new developments.

CVRD, which is headquartered in Brazil, is the largest diversified mining company in the Americas and has three core businesses: Mining, Logistics and the Generation of Electric Power.

With market capitalization of about $US35billion, CVRD currently has operations in 14 Brazilian states and subsidiaries and offices in more than 15 countries including the United States, Argentina, Chile, Peru, France, Norway and Bahrain.

Mr Beattie said CVRD had now opened its Australian office in Brisbane, which was rapidly developing as a world centre for the mining industry. The office will focus on exploration and business development opportunities.

Queensland's exports of metallurgical coals to Brazil totalled about 5.4 million tones in 2003-04, or about 4% of the State's coal exports. Strong growth in the Brazilian steel industry is driving further demand for high quality metallurgical coals from Queensland.

Today's announcement follows on from Monday's news that Indian company TATA Steel will join with AMCI, and its partners Nippon Steel, Posco and the JFE Group in the development of the Carborough Downs Mine in the northern Bowen Basin.

Production from Carborough Downs is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2006.

Media contact: 3224 4500


State fast-tracks $2.1 Billion Coal Planning

The Queensland Government is fast-tracking planning for approximately $2.1 billion worth of infrastructure for the State's expanding coal export industry.

This is in addition to the $1.4 billion of coal infrastructure investments already committed by Government owned trading enterprises.

The planning is a result of the Queensland Government's Coal Infrastructure Coordination Group set up in October last year.

Minister for State Development and Innovation Tony McGrady said massive expansion of the $10 billion coal export industry was forecast.

"The amount of coal railed to central Queensland ports for export is expected to increase by between 5% and 13% per annum over the next five years," Mr McGrady said.

"By 2009/10 somewhere between 215 million tonnes per annum and 235 million tonnes per annum of coal could be railed.

This compares to 143 million tonnes per annum in 2003-2004, and only 79 million tonnes a decade ago. Queensland Rail is on target to rail a forecast 155 million tonnes in 2004-2005, demonstrating that we are getting on with the job.

"We're fast-tracking planning to ensure that government-owned corporations are ready to roll out additional rail and other infrastructure developments to meet this increased demand.

"We've prepared a 'program of actions' which identifies:
* $1.4 billion coal infrastructure projects already committed and underway,
* Over $1 billion for additional projects required to be undertaken, to expand capacity to 215 million tonnes per annum, subject to commercial contracts,
* strategic planning that we'll undertake to cater for a significantly larger increase in the demand for coal, to 235 million tonnes per annum capacity, plus
* Significant additional investment in new locomotives and wagons required to transport coal from the mines to the ports.

"We're committing to this planning, so coal mining companies can sign contracts for the infrastructure work with confidence. This continues the major phased expansion of the essential transport and other supporting infrastructure for the State's coal industry over the past 3 decades, and demonstrates the Queensland Government's on-going commitment to remain a major, reliable supplier of quality coal to our customers."

Mr McGrady said he is encouraging mining companies to enter into contracts for new rail, port, water and energy infrastructure so that these projects can proceed at the earliest time.

"It's time for action," Mr McGrady said.

"The new infrastructure and expansion of the coal industry will be worth billions of dollars and mean thousands of jobs will be created in central Queensland.

"But there's nothing more the State Government can do to move this along until the mining companies sign up.

"Earlier this year the Queensland Government announced we were fast-tracking planning for the "Northern Missing Link" railway between the Goonyella and Newlands coal systems.

"In order to demonstrate this Government's commitment to the expansion of the coal industry we have committed to planning for the projects required to expand capacity to 215 million tonnes per annum in the next 5 years.

Mines Minister Stephen Robertson said the government was also progressing plans for new water infrastructure to ensure a sustainable future for the coal industry.

"SunWater has already completed stage one of an 8,000 megalitre offstream storage at Gattonvale to supply water to the coal mines of the Northern Bowen Basin.

"And negotiations are well advanced between SunWater and coal companies to progress the planned Burdekin to Bowen water pipeline," Mr Robertson said.

Mr McGrady said with world-wide buyers clamouring for Queensland coal it was only a matter of time before major coal buyers in Japan, Korea, China, India and Europe signed on the dotted line to secure additional coal supplies for the coming years.

Intense industrial development in China and India is adding to the pressure to step-up coal production.

"Senior Queensland Government Ministers have received support from representatives of the Queensland Resources Council and coal companies for coal infrastructure actions outlined to them at a recent meeting," Mr McGrady said.

The Coal Infrastructure - Program of Actions includes:

Committed Projects

Complete the currently committed $1.4 billion of coal infrastructure investment by our Government owned trading enterprises, including:
o RG Tanna Coal Terminal - $232M
o Barney Point Coal Terminal - $1.5M
o Blackwater Rail System - $93M
o Goonyella Rail System - $55M
o Gattonvale Off-Stream Storage - $22M
o Electricity to new mines - $35M
o Xstrata has commissioned Queensland Rail to construct and operate the Bauhinia Regional Railway - $233M
o Acquisition of additional rollingstock and upgrade of electric locomotives -$570M
o Other coal rail and port infrastructure - $160M

Complete the committed training and skilling initiatives for the coal mining industry.
o Implement the planned $770,000 of Government funded coal industry skilling and training initiatives.
o Establish the Mining Industry Training Centre of Excellence to address medium and longer term training and skills issues in the coal industry, but also all mining.
o Leverage additional training in the mining industry, including the coal sector, through $1,008,000 grant to the Queensland Mining Industry Training Advisory Body, achieving, at a minimum, the same number of annual hours curriculum as funded by the department.

Detailed planning for over $1billion of new infrastructure - to expand capacity to 215 million tonnes per annum, including
Detailed planning, design and approvals for the required coal infrastructure, so that construction can commence once commercial contracts are in place.
o Upgrades to the Goonyella, Blackwater and Moura Coal Rail Systems
o The Burdekin Water Pipeline
o Ergon Energy to work with mining companies to clarify electricity needs and develop a commercial program to provide power to new or expanded mine sites at the earliest possible time
o Further expansion of coal terminals and our ports at Gladstone, Hay Point and Abbot Point.

Facilitate the expansion of the two major coal terminals at Hay Point by their private sector owners, Prime Infrastructure and the BHP-Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

Fast-Track Planning for the $1.1 Billion Northern Missing Rail Link/ Abbot Point Coal Terminal

o Complete the $25M detailed planning studies and rail corridor acquisition committed for the 69km long Northern Missing Rail Link between the Goonyella and Newlands rail systems, and a major expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal. This initial commitment will reduce the lead time for infrastructure development in the future, when the coal companies are in a position to enter into firm commercial contracts for the use of the Northern Missing Link and the additional port capacity. The overall project could be completed within 4 years, if timely commitments by the coal miners to its construction are made.

Strategic Planning for Coal Infrastructure - to expand capacity to 235 million tonnes per annum

Commence strategic planning for infrastructure which may be required to support future coal industry development, so that detailed design and construction can commence, once commercial contracts are in place.
o Wiggins Island Coal Terminal and associated port and rail infrastructure at the Port of Gladstone. Detailed planning will commence in the short term, if there is sufficient commercial interest to proceed.
o Identification (where needed) and more detailed planning for long term water security options in the northern and southern Bowen Basin, and the Surat Basin.
o Evaluation of additional rail capacity enhancements, particularly to the Goonyella Rail System and the restricted Connors Range section, linking to the coal terminals at the Port of Hay Point.
o Transport options for the major coal deposits in the Surat Basin.

o Update population projections and develop a Housing Action Plan for the Bowen Basin.

Government Liaison with Industry
The Government will continue to liaise with the mining industry and coal infrastructure providers so that emerging coal infrastructure issues can be identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity.

Media Contact: 3224 4600


Hundreds Of Jobs & Export Millions Flow From Dawson Mine Project

MOURA: The $1 billion Dawson Project is one of the largest coal mining ventures in Australia and will mean hundreds of extra jobs and at least a $300 million a year increase in the State's annual export income, Premier Peter Beattie said today.

On launching the Project the Premier and Natural Resources and Minister Stephen Robertson congratulated the project's stakeholders, Anglo Coal (51%) and Mitsui (49%) for the confidence they are displaying in the future of Queensland coal mining.

"This State possesses abundant coal reserves and I am confident that the industry's future is assured for years to come - not just because of those reserves, but because our industry is a world leader in many aspects of coal mining," said the Premier

"The Dawson Project is a wonderful Smart State example of the efficiency of our industry and it incorporates features that, I hope, will become increasingly common in Queensland coal mining undertakings.

"When completed in 2007, the three Dawson mines will produce 12.7 million tonnes of coal a year - a massive increase from the present output of 7 million tonnes a year from one of those mines, at present called Moura.

Moura is being renamed Dawson Central and its output will be complemented by two new mines, Dawson North and Dawson South.

At the moment, 460 people are working on the project, a figure that will rise to 760 at the peak of construction.

When the project is complete, more than 200 new, permanent jobs will have been created. Another boost will be a $300 million a year increase in the state's annual export income (worth about $8 billion in the year to June 30, 2003).

The Premier said that the expansion takes place at a time when demand for coal - for power generation as well as steel manufacture - is soaring.

"My government is planning for the industry's future infrastructure needs on the basis that railed coal production will rise from 143 million tonnes in the year to June 30, 2004, to 202 million tonnes in the year to June 30, 2010.

"That's why, last year, we established the Coal Infrastructure

Co-ordination Group, which represents all interested government departments.

"These forecasts are underpinning the work being done by my Government and relevant government-owned corporations to plan the transport and water infrastructure necessary to meet this rapid expansion of the coal industry.

"My Government, through QR and the port authorities, is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to expand coal-related rail and port services.

Current coal-related projects for rail and ports being undertaken by the public sector in 2004-05 are costing more than $570 million.

• Rail infrastructure projects include $280 million in the Blackwater rail system and $55 million in the Goonyella rail system.

• The two coal-loading terminals at Gladstone - the RG Tanna Coal Terminal and the smaller Barney Point Coal Terminal - both service the export of coal from mines using the Moura rail system, and both are undergoing expansion. Throughput will rise from 40 million tonnes a year to more than 63 million tonnes a year by 2007. $162 million is being outlaid to lift capacity by 14mtpa by June this year, followed by another $45 million for an additional 8mtpa by March 2007.

• Hay Point Services Coal Terminal and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal are also being expanded - Hay Point by 4mtpa a year and Dalrymple Bay by 5mtpa a year.

• Prime and BMA have announced studies to investigate further expansion for both to meet anticipated demand.

• Further north, the Ports Corporation of Queensland has started master planning for the terminal at Abbot Point, with ultimate throughput possibly increasing by up to 25mtpa.

Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce said the Moura rail system was upgraded seven years ago, with new rail and concrete sleepers helping to boost axle loads from 20 tonnes to 26 tonnes.

The Premier said that the Government has established associated infrastructure-specific planning groups to examine future needs for transport, water, energy, skills and housing.

Mr Robertson said that the government was committed to ensuring reliable water supplies to Bowen Basin coal mines and communities. Sunwater has already started construction of Stage 1 of an 8,000 megalitre off-stream storage at Gattonvale, 40 km south of Collinsville.

The off-stream storage being built next to the Bowen River will increase availability of water to coal mines in the region - including Goonyella Riverside, Newlands, Collinsville, Moranbah North and Hail Creek - and the Collinsville Power Station.

"The Government through SunWater and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines is working closely with the mining industry to progress the Burdekin Falls Dam to Moranbah water pipeline as quickly as possible."

"If feasible, it will complement water supplies from Eungella and also enable industries to better plan for expansion in the future.

"We are also addressing the specific long-term water needs of communities and industry in the region through our current development of the Burdekin Basin Draft Water Resource Plan as well as the Central Queensland Regional Water Supply Strategy," said the Minister.

The Premier also outlined that the Dawson Project also incorporates wildlife and fauna preservation areas within the mining leases.

In addition, Dawson will produce large quantities of coal seam methane gas, an increasingly important energy source for Queensland.

28 January 2005
Media contact: Premier's Office 3224 4500





A $12 million energy deal between Enertrade and Xstrata Copper highlights the benefits the Townsville Gas Pipeline is delivering to the region, Energy Minister John Mickel said today.

Enertrade has signed Copper Refineries Pty Ltd in Townsville, a part of Xstrata Copper, as its first commercial customer for the recently completed North Queensland Gas Pipeline.

Under the ten-year deal, Enertrade will sell and transport coal seam gas to the Copper Refineries' site in Townsville.

"This is a tremendous step forward for industry in north Queensland and I welcome Xstrata Copper's decision to convert its Townsville copper refinery from liquid fuel to coal seam gas," Mr Mickel said.

"The pipeline was built with the aim of generating industrial growth and providing new energy sources for the region and this deal shows that industry is starting to take advantage of this project.

"I hope other industries will follow Xstrata's lead which is a vote of confidence in the economic future of Townsville and north Queensland," Mr Mickel said.

Enertrade owns and operates the pipeline which extends from Moranbah to Townsville and supplies gas to the Townsville Power Station which is undergoing conversion to coal seam gas.

"This is a significant achievement for Enertrade as it shows that we are capable of delivering energy solutions to meet the needs of industry in north Queensland," Michael Cavell, Chief Executive of Enertrade said.

"It sends a very clear message that coal seam gas is available in north Queensland. It provides a cost-effective, reliable and environmentally friendly energy solution to meet the needs of industry," he said.

Charlie Sartain, Chief Executive of Xstrata Copper said, "The conversion of Copper Refineries to coal seam gas will make a significant improvement to our operating costs as well as reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

"The investment of nearly $4 million to convert to coal seam gas, is part of $115 million in capital improvement projects in north Queensland, committed in 2004 as part of the transformation of the Xstrata Copper businesses," he said.

Media contact: Anne Syvret (Minister Mickel) 3225 1819
Kent Beasley (Enertrade) 3331 9929
Sue Sara (Xstrata Copper) 3295 7535


New Smart State Academy to Target Shortages In Minerals And Energy Industries

The Queensland Government and the resources sector are teaming up in a groundbreaking initiative to boost the number of high school and tertiary students studying maths, science and engineering to address skills shortages in the minerals and energy industries.

Premier Peter Beattie today announced a partnership between the Queensland Government and Queensland Resources Council to create a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy to drive innovative education and training opportunities in the resources sector.

"We have been using Smart State strategies to boost our minerals and energy sectors, now we need to ensure we can supply the smart minds the industries need in the future," said Mr Beattie.

"Queensland's minerals and energy industries make an important contribution to the strength of our economy, providing more than $12 billion or 10% of Gross State Product in 2002-03.

"However the current skills shortage in the sector has the potential to damage our international, competitive advantage.

"That's why we must act now to boost the numbers of students studying maths and science at high school and to increase tertiary level enrolments in fields such as science, engineering, geology, mining and mineral process engineering.

"I congratulate Queensland Resources Council and the industries it represents for partnering with Government in an innovative project to address the industry's employment needs.

"The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy will identify school hubs in Central and North Queensland which will work with employers, university and TAFE to create education, training and work opportunities for students in the minerals and energy industries," he said.

"Linked to each hub will be 'gateway' schools which work to raise student and teacher awareness of careers opportunities in the minerals and energy industries and give students real opportunities to experience what working in the sector can be like.

"The gateway schools will offer subjects and training in areas such as earth science and engineering and will work with industry to provide work experience, work placements and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships."

Mr Beattie said the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy - which will have a governance board comprising representatives from Government, Queensland Resources Council, industry and education - would co-ordinate education and training provision to the industry.

Education Minister Anna Bligh said the Department of Education and the Arts would fund a senior school administrator to support the establishment of the gateway school hubs and co-ordinate other Academy initiatives.

"Other projects to be overseen by the Academy include developing a new industry syllabus, teaching resources and a joint policy with industry for work placement, work experience, cadetships, traineeships and apprenticeships, as well as the establishment of awards and scholarships to encourage students and education staff to champion the industry.

"This is an exciting and forward-thinking partnership, which will give students real pathways that lead to real jobs and will help the minerals and energy sector better meet its recruitment needs.

"Through our Government's education reforms, we are expanding opportunities for senior students by linking with peak industry groups such as Queensland Resources Council."

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Susan Johnston praised the State Government's willingness to work with industry to promote careers in the minerals and energy sector.

"For some time now both the Queensland Government, and Queensland Resources Council, have been concerned about declining student interest in maths, science, and engineering, and the flow-on effects for employment in the minerals and energy sector," Ms Johnston said.

Ms Bligh said the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy would also complement the Government's science action plan which aims to boost the number of school students studying science.

"According to research prepared by the Queensland Resources Council, tertiary earth science graduates across Australia have fallen from more than 250 in 2000 to less than 150 in 2003.

"Over the same period, mining engineering graduates have also dropped from more than 200 to less than 150.

"They predict that the supply of earth science graduates between 2004-2007 will be between 60 and 100 a year - well below previous years.

"Through the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy initiative, our Government is committed to a partnership with industry that will turn this trend around."

30 November 2004
Media contact: 3224 4500



The Queensland Government is planning for the infrastructure needed for the massive growth in coal production.

Minister for State Development and Innovation Tony McGrady told Parliament today that the Beattie Government had formed the Coal Infrastructure Coordination Group to address this issue.

"The boom in coal means billions of dollars in investment and will create thousands of jobs in regional Queensland," Mr McGrady said.

"Over the next six years, local coal production is predicted to increase by approximately seven per cent each year.

"Railed coal will increase from 143 million tonnes per annum in 2003/04 to 202 million tonnes in 2009/10.

"Given these figures it is vital that we ensure the right infrastructure is in place so we can effectively respond to this huge international demand.

"On Monday I briefed cabinet on the establishment of the Coal Infrastructure Coordination Group to get on with the job of planning for this growth. This is smart state planning at its best."

The group has 11 members from across government - and is chaired by the Department of State Development and Innovation. Members include senior bureaucrats from the Departments of:

* Premier and Cabinet,
* Treasury
* Housing
* Transport
* Employment and Training
* Energy, and
* Natural Resources and Mines.

Initially, the Coal Infrastructure Coordination Group will focus its efforts on the Northern Bowen Basin. This area in particular, is set to experience a significant increase in demand over the next few years.

On top of that, the group is currently examining accommodation facilities for mining towns in the Bowen Basin. It will also examine infrastructure priorities for the Surat and Moreton basins.

The Coal Infrastructure Coordination Group will be complemented in its efforts by five planning groups. These groups were established to identify the necessary infrastructure development in particular areas such as, transport, energy, skills and housing.

Once again, these groups will comprise representatives from across government. They will also draw on the expertise of members from government-owned corporations and industry stakeholder groups. Once they submit their findings to the coordination group a final report will be prepared by early next year.

Media Contact: 3224 4600



Gas Pipeline A Milestone Towards Power For North

The completion of the $160 million gas pipeline from Moranbah to Townsville on time and within budget was a great achievement and opens the door for increased industrial development in the north, Premier Peter Beattie said today at a ceremony marking the completion.

The pipeline is part of a $500 million project to supply coal seam methane gas from the North Bowen Basin to fire North Queensland's first major, base load gas-fired power station.

The off-peak Townsville Power Station is being substantially upgraded and converted from using aviation fuel to coal seam gas. It is due for completion in February 2005.

"The completion of the pipeline is a major milestone so that next year we will see Queensland's significant reserves of coal seam methane gas put to very good use," Mr Beattie said.

Until recently, the use of this gas has been negligible because it was difficult to extract in commercial quantities. Smart State systems have been developed to extract it and make it viable.

"Enertrade, the owner and operator of the pipeline project, has built a pipeline stretching nearly 370 kilometres from the Moranbah gas fields to Townsville," Mr Beattie said.

"The pipeline has more capacity than what is required to fire the electricity plant. Its use could be trebled through the installation of additional compressors to pump more gas, to boost industrial development and jobs growth.

"Enertrade officials say the pipeline has the potential to create more than $1 billion in industrial development in the north, potentially creating thousands of jobs."

Another benefit was the fact that coal seam gas is environmentally friendly.

"Converting the Townsville Power Station to coal seam gas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than one million tonnes a year, which is equivalent to taking around 250,000 cars off our roads," Mr Beattie said.

"The North Queensland Gas Pipeline Alliance (Enertrade, GHD and Thiess Nacap) undertook the project with local support following an extensive consultation process."

17 November 2004
Media contact: (07) 3224 4500




New Storage Boosts Water Supply to Bowen Basin Coal Mines

Work will begin immediately on a new 8,000 megalitre off-stream water storage to service the coal-rich northern Bowen Basin, Mines Minister Stephen Robertson announced today.

Mr Robertson said the State Government-owned water corporation, SunWater, will construct the new off-stream storage adjacent to the Bowen River Weir near Gattonvale, approximately 40 kms south of Collinsville.

"Concerns have been raised that coal mining operations in the Basin may be affected unless we get a significant wet season this year," he said.

"While it's expected there will be sufficient water supply over the coming wet season, the construction of this new off-stream storage will reduce the risk of water shortages in 2005-06 and beyond."

"This new storage will increase availability of water to coal mines in the region - including Goonyella Riverside, Newlands, Collinsville, Moranbah North and Hail Creek - plus the Collinsville Power Station."

"It will also significantly increase the reliability of town water supply to communities such as Collinsville, Moranbah and Glenden."

"And, it will ease demand pressure on Eungella Dam which is currently down to just 15% of capacity."

"This extra 8 billion litres (1 megalitre = 1 million litres) of available water will help ensure a sustainable future for coal mining operations and local communities if the current drought continues beyond the coming wet season."

Mr Robertson said SunWater would build the Gattonvale off-stream storage in three stages:

Stage 1 - 2,500 megalitre capacity to be completed before Christmas 2004;

Stage 2 - 5,000 megalitre capacity completed by 31 March, 2005;

Stage 3 - 8,000 (minimum) megalitre capacity completed by 31 May, 2005.

SunWater has already started construction on Stage One of the project so pumping can commence in time to take advantage of the coming wet season.

The storage will be filled by pumping water from the Bowen River Weir during high flows in the river system during the wet season.

Mr Robertson said the Gattonvale project demonstrated the Beattie Government's commitment to working in partnership with industry to provide sustainable new water infrastructure to enhance water supply reliability in times of increased climate variability.

"It also reflects the State Government's commitment to providing necessary infrastructure to support the sustainability and growth of the coal industry in the northern Bowen Basin region."

Mr Robertson said the coal industry is an integral part of the Queensland economy and provides thousands of jobs and economic benefits to regional Queensland.

"More than 20% of coal exported from Queensland, or approximately 27.5 million tonnes of coking coal, is mined from the northern Bowen Basin region.

"The new Gattonvale off-stream storage is being progressed by SunWater as a commercial development and is underpinned by commercial commitments from BMA, Xstrata and Transfield.

"The storage will assist expansion of the coal industry in the northern Bowen Basin by providing reliable water supplies necessary for mines to ensure continued coal production."

Labor Member for Whitsunday, Jan Jarratt, said the new storage would ensure towns in the Basin have sufficient water supply to meet the ongoing drought.

"This storage will deliver additional water availability to local communities as the Government considers future water infrastructure options for the region as part of its water resource planning process."

"The storage will also improve reliability of water supply to the Collinsville Power Station and further enhance reliability of power supply to North Queensland," she said.



8 October 2004

Commissioning gas is now successfully being delivered to Townsville from the Moranbah Gas Project (“MGP”) at a rate of approximately 9 TJ/day, in line with Enertrade’s current requirements, from 18 wells of the 36 wells completed to date. These deliveries are in line with the current needs of the primary customer, Enertrade. The 6 month commissioning process will continue until 7 February 2005 when full contract sales to Enertrade commence.

To ensure the delivery of gas at full contract volumes of approximately 40 TJ/day from February 2005, CH4 and BHP Billiton as 50:50 Joint Venture Partners in the MGP, have, subject to budget approvals, agreed to accelerate the development of the project wellfield.
While the project is meeting commissioning needs, there are some wells that are taking longer to achieve the needed rates of gas production. A conservative approach is being taken in accelerating wells that were to be drilled next year and providing some in-fill wells to allow advanced gas production to be achieved more quickly.

Commenting today, Louis Rozman, Chief Executive Officer of CH4 Gas Limited said “The development and construction of the MGP in terms of wellfield development and required compression and infrastructure has gone very well. At the end of September 2004, five of our seven compressors are in operation, our gas and water reticulation system is largely complete and 36 wells have been completed and are dewatering and advancing through the gas production process, against a target that we set ourselves earlier in the year of having 23 wells at this stage of development by this time. This has been a remarkably successful effort by all of our staff and contractors. The company has also been involved in discussions regarding additional supplies to the Townsville market, and wants to ensure that it has the maximum potential capacity available to supply that market.”

The impact of this decision to accelerate field development for CH4 is that approximately $2.0 million of expenditure previously planned for the quarter ending September 2005 is being brought forward into the June 2005 financial year, and approximately $3.0 million of additional expenditure is being incurred to add additional field capacity. Funding from CH4’s recently completed Project Financing Facility with RMB Resources Limited will be utilised to assist with these additional capital expenditure needs.

For additional information, please contact:

Louis Rozman Kerry Parker
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Company Secretary
Telephone 61 7 3228 2300 Telephone 61 7 3228 2300
Email : Email :

Bill to defeat CSG coal conflict

Monday, October 04, 2004

A NEW petroleum and gas industries legislation in Queensland was introduced last week to quell any conflict and confusion that may arise when coal and coal seam gas exploration and production activities occur in the same area.
Mines Minister Stephen Robertson said the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 made sweeping changes to Queensland's 80-year-old petroleum legislation to make companies producing, transporting, and using petroleum safer and more efficient.

"These laws also implement the first comprehensive coal seam gas regime in Australia, which will underpin our rapidly growing coal seam gas industry," he said.

"The commercial production of coal seam gas under a single Act that provides clear, unequivocal rights to coal seam gas tenure will give investors the certainty they need to bring new projects to fruition."

Robertson said that providing clear rules, rights, and obligations for the coal and coal seam gas industries to work co-operatively would ensure the optimum development of Queensland's resources.

"The new regime places great importance on encouraging consultation and negotiation to reach commercial agreements about the co-ordinated development of the two resources.

"But if co-ordinated development can't be achieved, the Act will still provide certainty for current and future investment."

Robertson said the new laws also introduced for the first time full competition in awarding petroleum exploration tenure.

"Full competition, utilising a tender process for an authority to prospect for petroleum, will ensure our petroleum and gas resources are allocated efficiently and transparently to the benefit of both the industry and the people of Queensland," he said.

BMA gold at export awards

Monday, September 27, 2004

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has taken out top honours in the Minerals and Energy category at the 2004 Premier of Queensland's Export Awards.

The awards, now in its 15th year, recognise and rewards Queensland's most successful and innovative exporters.

BMA, which owns and operates Blackwater, Goonyella, Peak Downs, Saraji Norwich Park, Gregory and Crinum coal mines as well as the Hay Point Coal Terminal in Queensland, won the award on the back of its dominance in the seaborne metallurgical coal trade.

In 2004, BMA export sales increased by 4.2 million tonnes to 52.3 million tonnes.

Other finalists in the Minerals and Energy category included WMC Fertilizers and Wesfarmers Curragh.

(International Longwall News)


The Second Newsletter for Clemont Coal Mine Project


The EIS is now available and submisions should be made by 13 September to the Department of State Development

Public Meetings about EIS will be held at Clermont at 1pm on Friday 13th August and 9am on Saturday 14 August

The Clemont Coal Mine could begin production inmid-2008 to concide with the ramp-down of production from the Blair Athol Mine.

New Petroleum and Gas Laws Introduced To Parliament


New laws introduced to Queensland Parliament today will help increase the efficiency, safety, and profitability of Queensland 's petroleum and gas industries, Mines Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

Mr Robertson said the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Bill 2004 made sweeping changes to Queensland's 80-year-old petroleum legislation to make the industries producing, transporting, and using petroleum safer and ensure the optimal development of the State's valuable petroleum resources.

Mr Robertson said that one of the Bill's most important aspects was the implementation of the Queensland Government's coal seam gas regime.

"This is the first legislation of its kind in Australia ," he said.

"These laws will underpin continued investment and development, particularly in regional Queensland , and provide greater stability and certainty to ensure Queensland stays at the forefront of this rapidly-expanding industry."

Mr Robertson said the new regime would bring all commercial production of coal seam gas under a single piece of legislation to provide clear, unequivocal rights to coal seam gas, giving investors the certainty they need to bring new projects to fruition.

"By providing clear rules, rights, and obligations for the coal, coal seam gas, and petroleum industries to work co-operatively, it will ensure the optimum development of the State's coal and coal seam gas resources," he said.

"A new, integrated safety management regime will ensure that coal seam gas can be produced without compromising the safety of workers in existing or future coal mines."

Mr Robertson said the new laws would also introduce full competition in awarding petroleum exploration tenure for the first time.

"Full competition will encourage more responsible land and resource management, and makes sure our petroleum and gas resources are allocated more efficiently and transparently," he said.

"Under the new, competitive regime, an authority to prospect for petroleum will be granted only after a tender process has been completed."

Mr Robertson said the laws would provide landholders affected by petroleum activities with additional grounds for compensation.

"The new grounds for compensation to landholders will better reflect the real impact of authorised petroleum activities on landholders, and ensure that our mining and petroleum industries operate under uniform rules when assessing compensation," he said.

"Landholders will also benefit from provisions that will allow petroleum tenure holders to make water available to third parties, including farmers, which will ensure we're using Queensland's precious water resources wisely," he said.

MEDIA: Natural Resources, Mines & Energy, Stephen Robertson

Updated population projections


Updated population projections for Queensland LGAs (2001 - 2026), prepared by the Population Information and Forecasting Unit, are now available on the DLGP website at under the heading: Queensland's Future Population 2003 Edition

Queensland sets new coal export record


The Queensland coal industry set a new export tonnage record during the 2003 calendar year, Mines Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

Mr Robertson said a record 134.637 million tonnes of coal was exported by Queensland during 2003, representing a 9.33 million tonne or 7.45 % increase on 2002 figures of 125.303 million tonnes.

"Exports to all regions increased during 2003, including Japan, which were up 12.65%, and to Europe (16.92%) and Other Countries a whopping 37.95%."

"Exports of coking coal increased by 6.03 million tonnes to 90.277 million tonnes (up 7.15%) and thermal coal by 3.31 million tonnes to 44.359 million tonnes (up 8.06%)," Mr Robertson said.

More than 97 % of the coal exported from Queensland is mined from the Bowen Basin in central Queensland, with the remainder (mainly thermal coal) sourced mines operating in the Surat and Clarence-Moreton basins in the state's south-east.

Total saleable coal produced by Queensland during the 2003 calendar year also increased 2.76 % to 156.117 million over the 202 figure of 151.920 million tonnes.

Domestic coal sales within Queensland increased 5.9% to 24.980 million tonnes compared with 23.587 million in 2002, and this increase was mainly for electricity generation.

"Total employment in the state's coal mines also increased by just over 8.22% to 11,123 positions during the 2003 calendar year compared with 10,278 positions during 2002," Mr Robertson said.

"Most of this employment increase was in the Bowen Basin open-cut and underground coal mines." Mr Robertson said.

Productivity for the 2003 calendar year was 14,208 tonnes per person, reflecting additional pre-stripping work at some open-cut mines and difficult mining conditions at some of the underground mines.

Queensland had 41 operating mines at the end of 2003, 31 open-cut and 10 underground.

All of the underground mines in operation were in the Bowen Basin, of which nine were using longwall mining methods with one using conventional bord and pillar techniques to produce mainly coking coal products.

Two coal mines - Hail Creek and Moorvale, both north of Dysart - started production during 2003 while Ebenezer, New Hope open-cut mine, Alliance and Kenmare ceased production.

MEDIA:       PAUL LYNCH (07) 3896 3689

Bigger Rolleston Project to Create Hundreds of Jobs

Media Statement: Department of the Premier & Trade, Peter Beattie


Hundreds of new jobs will start flowing this year from a massively-increased coal mining project in Central Queensland, Premier Peter Beattie said today (Tuesday).

"Xstrata Coal announced today that it is not only starting work on the much-anticipated Rolleston Coal project but also that it will be a third bigger than originally conceived," said Mr Beattie.

"The Rolleston Project was originally approved as producing six million tonnes a year by the board of MIM Holdings in March 2003 but Xstrata Coal has expanded its intended output to eight million tonnes a year.

"This is great news for Queensland and a major vote of confidence in the future of Central Queensland.

"It is not just a go-ahead for the mine, it is also a green light for a $230 million Queensland Rail line.

"And it's a boost for the port of Gladstone, from where Rolleston coal will be exported.

"It is estimated that the advantages to Queensland include:

"In addition, Xstrata Coal will spend about $1.8 million on a community funding agreement over a three-year period with the local council that will bring many benefits to the towns of Rolleston and Springsure and surrounding districts.

"I congratulate and thank the company for making this contribution to the local community which will help improve services and infrastructure in the district."

The Rolleston Project is located 16 kilometres west of Rolleston and 275 kilometres due west of Gladstone but 424 kilometres by rail.

"Production is expected to start towards the end of 2005. Full production of six million tonnes a year for export and two million tonnes for domestic consumption is expected in 2008.

"The mine is expected to operate for more than 20 years."

"I thank Xstrata Coal executives for briefing Minister for Mines Stephen Robertson, Minister for State Development Tony McGrady and me on the company's plans."

Peter Coates, chief executive Xstrata Coal, said: "We appreciate the support of the Queensland Government for this project and look forward to working together with them, and our joint venture partners, in taking this major project forward."

Mr Coates said that the development would mean more than a third of the company's annual production eventually coming from Queensland, underscoring its long-term commitment to mining in this state.

Minister Robertson said: "With a capital cost of $291 million, this project spells a major investment in Central Queensland's future.

"The Rolleston coal is low-emission and high quality thermal coal, adding to Queensland's international reputation as a source of some of the world's cleanest coal.

"The water needs of the Rolleston mine will also be minimised, because the very low ash content of Rolleston coal means it can be exported without the need for a wash plant.

"But with identified coal resources of about 600 million tonnes in the Rolleston lease, including 173 million tonnes of recoverable coal reserves, that production level can be sustained for many years," he said.

Minister McGrady said he strongly welcomed the news, which ended months of uncertainty about the project.

"This announcement is an economic shot in the arm for Queensland, particularly Gladstone," he said.

"While some detractors framed Xstrata as an organisation which just bought and sold companies, it has now demonstrated without a doubt its credentials and its commitment to investing in Queensland.

"This project sends out a strong message that this company is serious about its future in Queensland."

Transport Minister Paul Lucas said: "Queensland Rail will construct, own and operate the new 110km spur to the existing network in the Blackwater system.

"The Rolleston Mine will be charged a fee under a 20-year contract for access and use of the new line.

"Construction work will provide jobs for up to 400 people - half of whom will be locals.

"Winning the construction contract is confirmation that QR, working with its private sector partners including Abigroup, John Holland and Connell Wagner, can compete against stiff competition in the open market.

"QR and its partners will design, construct, finance and manage the 110km of public purpose railway line from Xstrata Coal's new mine near Rolleston to connect with QR's network at Blackwater.

"QR will also haul up to eight million tonnes of coal to Gladstone each year for Xstrata Coal."

Xstrata Coal owns 75% of the Rolleston Project, with partners Sumitomo and Itochu each holding a 12.5% interest.

Contact: Steve Bishop 3224 4500

February 24, 2004.


26/11/2003 The Queensland Mining Council has changed its name to Queensland Resources Council.

Blackwater - 400 Jobs in Coal Project

Morning Bulletin 15/01/2004
by Greg Chapman

Blackwater’s workforce will get a massive temporary boost from BHP Billiton’s proposed $234 million coal handling and processing facility. The project, announced yesterday, will employ 400 people during construction but the high-tech facility will result in the loss of 72 full-time jobs once operational.

BHP Billiton Mitsubushi Alliance said there would be no forced redundancies and that the affected employees would be provided with a number of career and training options.

The plant will be next to the north preparation plant at Blackwater and will centralise processing at one facility, replacing the existing high-cost north, south and thermal coal plants.

The plant will be able to process more than 14 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal a year.

Public affairs manager Ian Dymock said staff would be reduced because of the plant’s new technology.
“The three current plants employ 88 people and use old technology but because the new plant will be so modern it will need only 16 people,” he said. “Once the new plant is commissioned and has proven itself, the north plant will be dismantled and the site rehabilitated.”

“The south and thermal plants will be mothballed and left vacant with the potential for future use.”

Construction of the plant will start in the second quarter of this year and should be operational by late next year.

December 2003 Queensland Government Mining Journal Released

For more information please go to:

ABARE Releases 2003-04 Commodity Forecasts

For more info please go to:

Rio Tinto and Coal & Allied Name Change


Rio Tinto and Coal & Allied (Rio Tinto 75.7%) have agreed to combine Coal & Allied corporate and service functions with those of Pacific Coal. Under this arrangement, Pacific Coal (Rio Tinto 100%) will be renamed Rio tinto Coal Australia. The new management arrangement will take effect from 1st February 2004, and will be implemented progressively. For more information click HERE.

Queensland - Smart At Cleaner Energy Research

Premier & Trade, Peter Beattie

The Smart State is set to become a world leader in tackling greenhouse gas emissions through a new research centre that will investigate ways to turn black coal into cleaner energy.

Premier Peter Beattie, Federal Science Minister, Peter McGauran, and Energy Minister, Paul Lucas, officially launched the Centre for Low Emission Technology at Pullenvale in Brisbane today.

"This new clean energy centre highlights our commitment to working with other governments and industry to address the global greenhouse challenge," Mr Beattie said.

Mr Beattie said the Queensland Government will commit $9 million over four years towards the Centre, with the CSIRO contributing another $9 million.

Tarong Energy, Stanwell Corporation, CS Energy, Xstrata and the University of Queensland have also indicated in-principle support to the Centre with possible contributions of $2 million each over four years bringing total funding to an expected $28 million.

"Queensland's coal industry is a major contributor to our economy through jobs, exports, regional development, investment, mineral royalties, and cheap electricity generation," Mr Beattie said.

"Last financial year, we exported around 129 million tonnes of coal worth $8 billion, which was over 30% of Queensland's total export revenue and we are continuing to open up new markets in countries like Germany.

"Coal also generates around 88% of Queensland's electricity, which requires 22 million tonnes of coal per year.

"Our high quality and cheap coal means we produce some of the world's cheapest electricity, which makes us an attractive investment location for energy intensive industries.
"However, as the Smart State, we must develop technologies to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of coal-fired electricity generation."

"This centre will complement other steps we are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as our Cleaner Energy policy which requires 13 per cent of the Smart State's electricity to be generated from gas-fired power stations by 2005, with renewable energy accounting for a further two per cent. "

Mr Lucas said coal was a cheap energy source with high greenhouse gas emissions, while renewable sources were traditionally more expensive but had lower emissions.
"My point is it's not a matter of choosing between coal and renewables as both have an important role to play," Mr Lucas said.

"However what this Centre will do is focus on advancing Research and Development.
"It will demonstrate technologies that will capture greenhouse gases from electricity generation, minimise the CO2 released into the atmosphere and steer Queensland towards a hydrogen based economy.

"The Centre will also look to improve the environmental performance of existing coal-fired generation and examine the commercial potential for cogeneration with renewable energy sources such as sugar cane bagasse."

The Pullenvale campus, where the centre will be located, is already home to some of Australia's world-class scientists including CSIRO's mining, energy and manufacturing research and development areas and the Cooperative Research Centre for Coal in Sustainable Development.

"This is a global problem and we must work with all relevant sectors to tackle it," Mr Beattie said.
Mr Lucas said the Centre for Low Emission Technology would build on knowledge, expertise and research capabilities in zero emission technologies, and develop key linkages with other R&D bodies and industry groups, for example the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development and the Australian Coal Association which are working towards a lower emission technologies direction for Australia.

"The 30 year outlook for coal exports is positive, as global electricity demand is expected to double and coal is expected to remain the most used fuel for electricity generation," Mr Lucas said.

"That's why we can't ignore the fact that coal will remain the major component of our energy mix in the future and should continue to form part of our cleaner energy sources alongside gas and renewables."

Mr Lucas said the Centre for Low Emission Technology was one way that Queensland was helping address the worldwide issue of greenhouse emissions.

"We're working hard to position Queensland as a low emission state, but initiatives by just one State alone will not equal a comprehensive solution," Mr Lucas said.

"There has to be a national approach."

Media contact: Anne Syvret (Premier's office) 3224 4500
Alison Smith (Minister Lucas) 3235 4550

Massive Boost To Queensland Coal Exports And Jobs

Premier & Trade, Peter Beattie

Queensland's coal-exporting capacity was given a massive boost today (Wednesday) when Premier Peter Beattie opened a new coal mine, its raillink to the coast and an extension of Dalrymple Bay port.

"What this all means is more jobs for Queenslanders," said Mr Beattie.

Mr Beattie opened:

- Hail Creek Mine, developed at a cost of $460 million by partners Pacific Coal, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, and Japan's Sumisho Coal and Marubeni Coal;
- A 47km link between the mine and railway to Dalrymple Bay Coal
- Stage six of the Dalrymple Bay port, a $115 million investment that raises capacity by 10 million tonnes to 55.5 million tonnes of coal a year and makes Dalrymple Bay one of the largest coal export terminals in the world.

"At Hail Creek about 2,100 workers worked directly on site and on the rail link, with 40% of them being from the Mackay region. The labour force at Dalrymple Bay peaked at 379 people, " said Mr Beattie, who was accompanied by Natural Resources and Mines Minister Stephen Robertson. "When the mine has built up to full capacity, it will employ 200 people permanently".

Of the 18 key contracts awarded during construction of themine, 11 went to contractors with offices and /or workshops in the Mackay region.

"The coal exporting infrastructure I opened today is worth $575 million and enables us to export an additional 10 million tonnes of coal each year on top of the record 129 million tonnes exported last year."Coal contributes more than one quarter of Queensland's annual export income, which was worth an estimated $8 billion last year.

"Hail Creek will export 5.5 million tonnes of coal a year and generate about $400 million a year in export revenue for at least 25 years."In addition to hiring and training people from outside the industry, Hail Creek has become a partner with the Mackay Area Industry Network to make a significant contribution to the development of engineering trade skills in Central Queensland."

Pacific Coal now has major interests in four Queensland coal mines, the others being Blair Athol, Kestrel and Tarong. Both Japanese partners, Marubeni and Sumisho, have investments in other coal mines in Queensland and in New South Wales. All three companies have been established in Queensland for many years.

Contact: Steve Bishop 07 3224 4500

Queensland Premier opens $460m Hail Creek Coal Mine

5th November, 2003.
For more info go to:

Record production and export levels for Queensland Coal Industry

Qld. Media statement - Department of Natural Resources & Mines, Stephen Robertson

The Queensland coal industry continued to achieve record production and export levels during 2002-03 driven by growth in both international and domestic markets, Mines Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

Mr Robertson said this performance helped the Queensland coal industry maintain its position as both the largest exporter of seaborne coal in the world and as a major contributor to the State's economy.

"Total raw coal production in Queensland during 2002-2003 was approximately 195 million tonnes, from which a record 153.6 million tonnes of saleable coal was produced," he said.

"This represents an increase of about 4% on the record production performance in 2001-02 and is 80% more saleable coal than produced a decade ago in 1993-94."

Exports of coal also increased approximately 5% to a record 129.2 million tonnes in 2002-2003 and accounted for 84% of total saleable production.

"Queensland coal exports were valued at around A$8 billion free on board in 2002-2003, representing over 30 per cent by value of the State's total overseas exports of goods," Mr Robertson said.

"Additionally, the value of the domestic sales of coal in 2002-03 amounted to a further A$0.5 billion."

Mr Robertson said the coal industry also continued to be a key driver for regional economic development and job creation.

"At 30 June 2003, approximately 10,700 Queenslanders were directly employed in the State's coal industry, maintaining the high employment levels of the previous year (10,476 employees).

"The industry and its supporting service industries continued to provide jobs and bring prosperity to a large portion of regional Queensland, making a vital contribution to the State's economy."

Mr Robertson said international demand for Queensland's quality coal continues to rise.
Queensland currently exports coal to 35 countries including the largest purchasers of our coal - Japan (40% of total exports), Korea (15%) and India (10%).

Other major purchasers include Taiwan, The United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Brazil.

"The Queensland coal industry is well positioned, both in terms of coal resources and infrastructure capacity, to meet increased world demand and maintain its share of the market," he said.