NSW: Coal exports continue to grow thanks to emerging markets
Coal is still king in New South Wales.
Last week, the industry association NSW Minerals Council confirmed coal remains the regions number one export commodity, and revealed new data that shows demand for coal from emerging markets is on the rise.
Data released by Coal Services Pty Ltd reveals that coal exports for the current financial year are up nearly five percent, from 127 million tons in 2013-14 to 133 million tons in 2014-15.
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“It’s good for the NSW economy that coal exports are growing steadily across our main international markets,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.
“Coal remains vital to the NSW economy. It’s our most valuable export, and the NSW coal industry employs 35,000 people across the state,"
Exports of NSW coal to Korea are up eight percent, while exports to Taiwan have risen by 21 percent and across the rest of Asia outside of Japan and China, exports have more than doubled to 15.6 million tons over the last nine months.
Falls in export volume to China and Japan were more than offset by growth in other markets, including an encouraging more than doubling of exports to India in the current financial year.
Japan continues to be the biggest market for NSW coal comprising 40 percent of total exports, followed by China at 18 percent, Korea with 17 percent and Taiwan at 11 percent.
“The NSW mining industry has been doing it tough recently, with over 5000 jobs lost across the last two years. It’s therefore encouraging to see strong demand for NSW coal across our emerging markets,” Galilee said.
“Ongoing export demand indicates solid long term prospects for our state’s coal sector, provided we get the policy settings right here in NSW,” Galilee said.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.