REPORT: Coal Production in NSW on the Rise
Good news for coal mining companies in New South Wales– domestic coal production has increased by 5.7 percent over the past year despite weak prices for the black gold, according to a new report.
The statistics by Coal Services shows coal production in NSW has grown from 185 million tons to more than 196 million tons from 2013-2014.
Major export hubs have also grown as coal exports to China have ascended by roughly 26 percent. The China Coal Industry Association reports that more than two thirds of Chinese coal mining companies are operating at a loss.
“The old self-sufficient China has turned into one that is vulnerable, and dependent on imports,” said economist Lord King.
Export volumes to other major markets such as Taiwan, Japan and South Korea have also increased. Exports rose 15 percent for Taiwan, 4 percent for Japan and 9 percent for South Korea.
“This growth in production and the volume of coal exported is a good sign for economic growth in NSW,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.
“These figures show demand is still strong.”
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates global electricity could double between 2009 and 2035 as more people in developing countries gain access to electricity and household energy consumption grows.
Over the next five years coal is slated to meet more of the increase in global demand than oil and gas.
“The NSW coal industry is well placed to make the most of this demand,” Galilee stated.
“So while the local industry is experiencing short-term challenges, the long term prospects are good, provided we can continue to meet the future demand.”
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.