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Australian metallurgical coal to continue supporting economies

May 18, 2021

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dennis Ambler




Australia will continue to be a strong supplier of steel-making (metallurgical) coal over the next couple of decades due to its high quality, according to a report recently released by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

‘Australian Metallurgical Coal: Quality Sought Around the World’ – the second in the MCA’s ‘Best in Class: Australia’s Bulk Commodity Giants’ series – is an in-depth exploration of how and why Australia is the largest seaborne exporter of steel-making coal.

Metallurgical coal is a critical component for steel making and Australia’s quality attracts customers from around the world from Asian countries such as India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan all the way to the EU. Over 96% of Australia’s metallurgical coal production is exported.

Using high-quality Australian metallurgical coal reduces emissions while maximising productivity for blast furnace operators.

In 2019, Australia exported 184 million t (worth AUS$41.3 billion) of metallurgical coal, while North America (50 million t), Russia (39 million t) and Canada (35 million t) exported significantly smaller volumes.



Meanwhile, Roger Harrabin wants to ban the new mine in Cumbria, which might produce 3 million tonnes a year:




  1. May 18, 2021 10:09 am

    Decarbonising the UK would be horrendously damaging but WITHOUT ANY BENEFIT, since 1) we emit negligible greenhouse gases and2) most nations out East do not curb them and will not.
    The great bulk of the world’s greenhouse gases come from these nations.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 18, 2021 11:53 am

      But..but…but…we have to set an example to the world; to set an example for others to follow. We have to show the way to save the planet.
      And when we’re broke, freezing cold and facing regular black-outs the rest of the world will just laugh at us (the Chinese will be hysterical that we could be so, so stupid). And Boris and his mates will be sunning themselves in the luxury of foreign climes paid for by us!

      • chriskshaw permalink
        May 18, 2021 7:44 pm

        Brits will be the first true climate refugees, banging on the doors of Italy, Spain and Greece begging permission to be in a more moderate climate.

      • May 18, 2021 8:36 pm

        The first doors should be those of the nitwit politicos in charge who deserve a French Revolution type fate.
        Not too early now, infarct.

    • Colin permalink
      May 18, 2021 9:52 pm

      Never understood why the causation can only be in one direction, in other words India, Brazil either et al will follow our example and cut their emissions, meanwhile we don’t follow their example and increase ours, it’s a kind of logical fallacy which ought to have it’s own name.

  2. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    May 18, 2021 10:15 am

    After the mines were shut down in the UK by Thatcher the need for coal remained. I remember being told coal was being brought from Poland. While at a cheaper cost, more was required because it was mined from under the sea. So it did not burn as well due to the moisture content.

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      May 18, 2021 10:57 am

      One would hope that “While at a cheaper cost …” meant cheaper electricity production, not cheaper coal at a British port, or even at the Polish minehead!

      I do remember the figures quoted at the time were that the price of imported coal was £90 / ton and the cost of the coal from the mines that were to be closed was £120 / ton. The difference was paid out by the UK taxpayers! There was no mention of calorific value or the location at which those prices would be paid.

      And Thatcher didn’t close all the mines: she continued the policy that Wilson and Callahan (the previous PMs) had initiated. And they were Labour PMs.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 18, 2021 2:25 pm

        Imported coal is usually opencast mined where virtually all UK coal was deep-mined hence the extra cost. The miners themselves hammered the last nail into their industry – aided by the militant rail unions – as the UK switched to North Sea gas for power generation which was union-proof.

    • DJE permalink
      May 18, 2021 1:03 pm

      Wilson and Callaghan shut more mines than Thatcher. they were also notoriously expensive, inefficient and utterly resistant to change through their unions.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      May 18, 2021 2:42 pm

      Coalmines are wet places. Without constant pumping, they flood, as they’re below the water table.
      More mines were closed under Labour governments, as were more children removed from the free schools’ milk program.

  3. John H permalink
    May 18, 2021 10:18 am

    Meanwhile we cripple our economy and industry with green taxes, imposed virtue signalling politicians. Eastern industry is very pleased with that.

  4. Mack permalink
    May 18, 2021 10:34 am

    The Aussies won’t be supplying coal for much longer if the IEA have anything to do with it. Check out their latest deluded energy vision (orders!) – Path to Net Zero – at Needless to say their ‘green dreams’ have been loudly trumpeted by Matt McGrath at the Beeb. It’s probably no coincidence that the Chairman of the IEA also happens to be the Chairman of the Davos mob, the World Economic Forum. Small world this ‘build back better’ and ‘great reset’ malarkey. You’ll own nothing folks and you’ll be happy. Or else!

    • Malcolm Skipper permalink
      May 18, 2021 11:38 am

      Same in today’s Daily Telegraph:

      “Net zero means no new oil and gas fields, warns IEA”
      ‘International Energy Agency calls for abrupt halt to fossil fuel era and warns demand must fall by 75pc to meet climate change goals ……’

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 18, 2021 1:12 pm

      But as we saw the other day, the IEA are waking up to the fact that net zero is infeasible because of the impossibility of meeting demand for exotic and not so exotic minerals. So having reduced demand by 75% to avoid commissioning more oil fields, it will have to reduce a further 95% to accommodate the limited supply. Back to the Stone Age.

  5. D J Fraser permalink
    May 18, 2021 11:06 am

    Do the IEA really belive that we can stop producing CO2 by 2050? The use of hydro I can go along with but for example, to supply a city like Liverpool in the UK with power from solar pnels would require 75% of the Lake District national park to be covered in panels. Then there is Manchester, Birmingham, London. Just imagine, we will be able to live in a city carbon free but won’t be able to have a day in the countryside because it will be covered with panels or windmills????Go figure.
    Now if amongst all this retoric there was a push for more and more nuclear power stations, then yes, I could go along with it, but at the moment they are totally delusional. Unfortunately they are not the only ones going down this path to what end I have to ask. There is an uterier motive beneath all this and I hate to think what it might be.
    One thing is for sure, we will regret not standing up to these world control egotists when there is a realisation as to what has being going on.
    Still, why should I worry, I will be carbon dust by 2050. Polluting the atmosphere?

    • May 18, 2021 5:40 pm

      The agenda has always been about destroying the fossil fuel industry IMHO. Oil and gas companies have always funded conservative political parties, now most company funding flows to “progressives”. The Plan has worked.

  6. Thomas Carr permalink
    May 18, 2021 11:20 am

    Laura Kunsberg (?Sp) was sanbctioned for expressing her own views on apolitical matter and not just reporting. I would have thought that Harrabin et al deserved the same treatment — unless of course the BBC support H’s p.o.v.

    • mjr permalink
      May 18, 2021 3:19 pm

      support it? they actively promote and encourage it , hence the increasing number of unqualified environment reporters that they employ

  7. May 18, 2021 11:27 am

    Ban the Cumbria mine. Aussie Aussie Aussie 🙂

  8. AC Osborn permalink
    May 18, 2021 11:38 am

    I think that it is time that coal mining came in to the 21st century.
    Did you all see the massive boring machine to dig the tunnel under the Chilterns.
    That is like the Salt Mine boring machines we already have.
    That is what we need for coal, no men working in cramped filthy conditions.

    • Duker permalink
      May 19, 2021 2:34 am

      Coal mining isnt like that at all. Its in wide thick seams which have their own specialised machinery to handle that , not cramped filthy conditions at all, mostly header machines along a wide face and conveyor belts to the surface . hardly any need for anyone to even tough the stuff. Thats underground, open cast even more larger scale machinery and trucks and again no contact with the coal itself.

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      May 19, 2021 8:18 am

      Did you see the “massive boring machines” that produced the main underground roadways transporting coal from Stillingfleet, Riccall, Wistow and Whitemoor mines to Gascoigne Wood in the 1980s?
      The Selby mine complex.

      But I doubt that we’ll ever go back to Coal in the UK, other than niche projects like Cumbria.

      After all, there is plenty of cheap Shale Gas just waiting to be exploited. Surely every sane person will be 100% in favour.
      Oh! Wait!

  9. Gillespie Robertson permalink
    May 18, 2021 2:39 pm

    Back in the 1960s I asked Alf Robens then Coal Board Chairman if he could provide high quality Durham coking coal to the then burgeoning new Japanese coastal steel mills . I was selling Peruvian iron ore into Tyne Dock for the then Consett blast furnaces and needed bulk cargo to fill up the ships heading back into the Pacific region. he confessed that it cost more to get that coal to the pithead in Durham than its sale value delivered to japan, despite the advantageous ocean freight arrangement. A decade later I pioneered the supply of Australian coking coal to the UK and indirectly helped to close down the hopelessly uncompetitive U.K. mines in both the North East and South Wales. No pleasure in doing that but the Government’s mistake was in not biting the bullet sooner and MUCH more importantly not providing replacement emplyment oppoe rtuinitoes and money to those splended mineworkers. Today I write to Ministers urging them to recognise that the changed value of coal allows a new UK coking coal mine to open profitably and telling them they are crazy bot to encourage local production.

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      May 19, 2021 8:37 am

      Well, replacement was provided to a degree at Selby and significant investment in the Barnsley Area, at Ashfordby and at Daw Mill (Leicestershire).

      But there were poor decisions made both by Government and by the Coal Board/ British Coal and indeed by RJB Mining/ UK Coal after privatisation.

      I wasn’t (and still aren’t) a big fan of Margaret Thatcher’s approach (whilst also absolutely opposing Scargill’s NUM hardliners). But some rationality was, with Thatcher, at least in evidence.

      But when Blair / Brown / Miliband/ Huhne/ Davey got involved and “Call me Dave” was hugging his Husky, the lunatics were absolutely in charge of the asylum.

  10. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    May 18, 2021 3:48 pm

    I’ve been down to the coal face of a deep shaft mine. Far from an ideal place to work.
    So I may have been misinformed about the wet coal.
    I did live in the devastated communities following the pits closure. The lack of care and planning with government quangos making profits on the back of such atitudes was shocking. Then it turned into a few men and open face mining. Now this country appears to of lost it’s energy production independence altogether. Some scam about carbon dioxide.
    I’m not changing my mind that politicians are self serving megalomaniacs though.

  11. May 18, 2021 3:56 pm

    Do Harrabin & co. at the BBC have a viable alternative to coal for steel making? If not they should put a sock in it, as of now.

  12. Martin Brumby permalink
    May 19, 2021 8:05 am

    Robert Christopher is mostly correct.

    The differential figures widely published at the time in the Torygraph etc. compared the price of ship loads of low grade high-sulphur coal looking for a buyer at Rotterdam with good quality low- sulphur coal at Selby, a short distance from Drax, Europe’s largest and probably most efficient poer station, a few miles away.

    The fact that a large proportion of the Selby price reflected the development cost of the new mine (which every political party had backed in the “Plan for Coal” after our Arabian chums had quadrupled the price of oil) was then and is now conveniently forgotten.

    I know. I was there.

    • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
      May 20, 2021 7:26 am

      Thank you for taking the time to explain these things.

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