Queensland port shows 80% rise in coal exports

An Australian rail and shipment terminal in north Queensland has seen an 80% rise in coal shipments over the past year, according to government figures obtained by ABC Net.

In July 2013, 1.92 million tonnes of the black rock passed through Abbot Point terminal – 80% more than July 2012 – an indication that the state's coal industry "has made a recovery from this year's floods," Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls told ABC.

Tropical storm Oswald devastated coal haulage rail lines in January, causing several to shut down for more than a month. Lost production is estimated atĀ up to $300 million.


Coal mine flood footage by YouTube user ghostkk

But the recovery came at a cost, according to some environmental groups: In an attempt to speed up water clean-up the government allowed BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) to remove excess water by dumping it into the Fitzroy Basin.

Meanwhile, Queensland coal export volumes hit a three-year record in the 2012-2013 fiscal year according to Nicholls. And it looks like it will continue to grow: Earlier this month the state government approved mining billionaire Clive Palmer's west Queensland coal project, though the proposal still needs a green light from the Federal government.

Other Queensland ports showed significant increases in coal shipments as well. According to the Sunshine Coast Daily Dalrymple Bay was up 37.4% and Brisbane jumped 35.8%.