Coal mining reaches record high in Queensland

Queensland is finding its exploits in the coal mining industry highly rewarding. According to the latest figures from Queensland Resources Council (QRC), 2014 saw the natural resource reach a record high in terms of production.

During the past 12 months, the state has produced almost 216 million tonnes of coal across all its facilities. This exceeds last year's record-making figure of 196 million tonnes, and continues a trend that started in 2012, when 168 million tonnes was extracted.

This news comes despite (or perhaps aided by) a global downturn in the mining of coal. Many other countries are scaling down production, though Australia – and in particular Queensland – is seeing a spike in the popularity of its resources.

Coal mining jobs are proving to be a pivotal area of employment for many in the state, and proof that the sector is expanding will come as welcome news to many jobseekers as well as those currently employed within the industry.

In fact, QRC found that an impressive 208,000 professionals have joined the coal mining workforce during the 2013-2014 period.

Exports driving growth

Coal is Queensland's most exported product and provides employment opportunities for people all over the Sunshine State. It is this focus on export markets that is providing much room for continuing this growth.

A recent free trade agreement with China has opened the door even wider to exported goods heading to the Asian nation. This proved even more integral to Australia's ambitions as in December last year China was announced as the world's largest economy, taking the title from the United States, which held it for the past 140 years.

In such export markets, Queensland is finding the means to keep production high, and provide more job security in the process. Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche explained this a little further:

"What we are seeing are Queensland coal producers replacing the high prices of a few years ago with the volumes necessary to keep their operations viable in a currently depressed market," he explained in the January 13 findings.

Mr Roche also suggested the success of the state in recent years is ready to benefit mining recruitment in the long term, rather than being a mere flash in the pan.

"Queensland producers are saying to overseas customers that they are here for the long haul with the reliable supply of a range of high-quality coals."

In terms of production numbers, Port of Gladstone topped the rankings, exporting 69.6 million tonnes (mt) of coal last year. Dalrymple Bay took second place with 67.5 mt, followed by Hay Point (40.8mt), Abbot Point (22.9mt) and Brisbane (8.0mt).