Facts and Figures
- Black coal is Australia’s second-highest export commodity.
- Australia is the world’s leading coal exporter.
- In 2009-2010 Australia exported 293.4 million tonnes of black coal to 33 destinations.
- Black exports have increased by more than 50% over the past 10 years.
- Japan takes 39.3% of Australia’s black coal exports – the largest share, with a total of 115.3 million tonnes exported last financial year.
- China is our second largest market with 42.4 million tonnes in 2009-2010, almost double the previous year.
- Australia was the only one of the world’s 33 advanced economies to grow in 2009 during the worst global recession since the Great Depression.
- The export coal industry in Australia is serviced by nine major coal loading terminals located in Queensland and New South Wales.
- As a result of expansion work in recent years, the terminals in 2009-10 had a total handling capacity of almost 350 million tonnes and loaded nearly 300 million tonnes of coal.
- Located in the Port of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Port Waratah Coal Services operates the world's largest and most efficient coal handling operations through its two terminals; Carrington and Kooragang. An expansion of the PWCS terminal is in the pipeline.
- Trains transporting coal are among the longest in the world, with as many as six locomotives and 148 wagons amounting to a length of more than two kilometres. A train of that size can carry about 8,500 tonnes of coal.
- An important innovation in Queensland at the beginning of the 1980s was the construction of aluminium wagons equipped with rotating couplings which enable the wagons to be emptied by being turned upside down to reduce unloading time.
- The main rail companies operating in Australia are QR National and Pacific National who together service the states of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
Reclaimer, Curragh Mine Queensland, photo by Evan Colliss supplied by Wesfarmers