Summer floods cost Queensland in 75m tonnes in coal exports

QUEENSLAND'S two summers of flooding rains appears to have cost the state 75 million tonnes in coal exports.

New figures released by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics showed that in the past financial year, Queensland coal production roughly matched figures from seven years ago.

The industry peaked in 2009-10, producing 271 million tonnes but in the years that followed, rains took a heavy toll.

In 2010-11, that figure was down to 239 as the state was inundated.

More rain earlier this year meant that mines were again struggling to dry out.

According to the Queensland Resources Council, there was more to it.

A spokesman said the figures might also be down following the long-running dispute between the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union with the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

BMA is the world's largest seaborne exporter of metal-making coal, with much of that exported through Central Queensland ports.

The industrial relations dispute meant frequent stoppages which cut into production.

The mining sector is now hoping to see production come back strong in the next 12 months, even if coal prices take time to recover..



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