QRC welcomes federal investment in new steelmaking coal project near Moranbah

The past year has shown what’s possible with teamwork. Our latest QRC Outcomes Report reflects this teamwork and will be included with membership renewals, which go out from July 1. For a sneak peek at the report, click on the link below. Thank you to every Full, Service and Associate member for your support of the QRC. We look forward to continuing to provide the expertise, representation and outcomes needed to secure our industry’s very bright future.

The QRC has kicked off a campaign to attract new members and remind existing members it’s almost time to renew! The campaign features member testimonials representing different categories (thank you Jellinbah, Hastings Deering, Bowen Basin Mining Club and UTM Global 😊). Please share our content on your socials and reach out to companies you think would benefit from being in the QRC. To have a strong voice, we need a strong, committed membership base.

Our sector’s ESG credentials received a major boost last week when the QRC launched our latest Women’s Mentoring Program. This year, we have a record 20% of our 75 mentees working in trade and operator roles – how good is that! Fun fact: most mentees are aged between 25 and 44, and almost half of our volunteer mentors are over 45. This year we’ve had a big increase in the number of male mentors involved, jumping from 16 last year to 29 this year! Great to see such support from across the sector.

This week’s PACE event in Brisbane brought together public affairs and community relations professionals who work for QRC member companies. It was great to celebrate the continuing strong performance of Qld’s resources sector and to share experiences. We had 25 people on the Bar Pacino Terrace and the vibe and the river views were spot on. ✨ Our next PACE meeting is August 17, when we will welcome QRC Board Director and APLNG CEO Nick McKenna as our new chair.

This week the QRC urged Federal MPs to support two bills introduced to modernise the EPBC Act. The QRC has played a key role in shaping this long overdue reform. If passed, the Bills pave the way to a “one-touch” national environmental approvals process managed by states and territories. The good news is that on Wednesday night, the Standards and Assurance Bill passed through the House of Rep’s and will now be debated in the Senate in August.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s (NAIF) decision to invest in a new metallurgical coal mine near Moranbah in Central Queensland.

The Pembroke Resources-owned Olive Downs Steelmaking Coal Complex (Olive Downs) in the Bowen Basin will receive a $175 million NAIF loan to kickstart construction of a ’21st century mine built to 21st century standards’.

QRC Chief Ian Macfarlane commended the company’s commitment to building and operating a coal mine to the highest environmental standards and to providing local jobs and supply chain opportunities.

“This is an opportunity for a new metallurgical coal mine to be built in Queensland using the best technology available to proactively manage and reduce emissions and deliver a whole new level of excellence in workplace health and safety,” he said.

“Olive Downs is exactly the type of project the Queensland economy needs to work and earn its way out of COVID-19, and I congratulate the State Government for giving this project the chance to be assessed and ultimately approved through all the necessary regulatory channels.

“I also want to acknowledge federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt for believing in this project’s potential right from the start.”

Mr Macfarlane said the timing of the open cut mine project – which will offer up to 700 jobs during construction and more than 1000 in peak production – couldn’t be better.

“Metallurgical coal companies are set to benefit from a surge in world steel production, with Australian export volumes expected to increase by around 10 percent to 2023,” he said.

According to the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly, Australia’s exports of metallurgical coal, which is a necessary ingredient for a majority of the world’s steel producers, are forecast to rise from a 2020-21 low of 171 million tonnes to 186 million tonnes by 2022-23.

The price for metallurgical coal is also set to increase, with the Chief Economist reporting that prices have regained all the losses incurred due to China’s informal ban on Australian coal imports. Australian metallurgical coal export values are forecast to rebound from $22 billion in 2020-21 to almost $32 billion by 2022-23.

Mr Macfarlane said Olive Downs is expected to deliver more than $5 billion in royalty payments to the State Government over the life of the project.

“Royalties paid by resources companies go straight into the state budget to fund important government services and infrastructure for all Queenslanders, so when the resources sector is doing well, so is Queensland.”

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