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Resources sector to stay strong in the wake of ex-TC Debbie

7 April 2017

The resources industry is on track to deliver another record high, with export earnings from the sector set to reach $215 billion in 2016–17 and 2017–18.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan said the latest figures from the Resources and Energy Quarterly were good news for the industry, especially as it assesses the impact of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

“The latest Resources and Energy Quarterly was completed before the impact of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.  But it shows a strong and resilient industry that continues to underpin our economic growth,” Minister Canavan said.

“It’s also reassuring that separate early assessments show that the Queensland resources sector should be able to absorb the impact of the cyclone.

“While there has been some damage to coal haulage rail lines which transport coking coal to the Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point coal terminals, the majority of mines should be able to stay open and stockpile production.

“At the moment the expectation is they’ll then be in a position to make up for the lost transport time over the next few months.

“This is in contrast to the impacts from Cyclone Yasi in 2011, where mine production was significantly disrupted and about 26 million tonnes of coal exports were lost.”

At the moment, it looks likely that around 12-13 million tonnes of coking coal exports will be delayed, and a further 2-3 million tonnes of thermal coal exports, although these numbers will potentially change as more information is known about the impacts.

Today’s Resources and Energy Quarterly shows that nation-wide, export volumes are projected to stay well above pre-mining boom levels out to 2021-22.

“Energy and resources continue to power our economy, even as we transition from the construction phase to the production phase,” Minister Canavan said.

“That means all Australians will reap the benefits of record export earnings from the sector.”

The 32 per cent increase in export earnings is expected to come from price spikes in iron ore and metallurgical coal, driven by the resurgence of China’s steel sector, combined with increased LNG export volumes.

Bulk commodity export volumes will also rise as the production phase of the mining boom continues.

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180