AS THE world turns away from coal, Australia seems to be holding on more tightly than ever and one figure may reveal why. Australia is already the fourth-largest coal producer in the world and contains the fourth-largest coal resources, after the United States, Russia and China.
With so much wealth in the ground, it’s something that’s not easy to give up. Just ask the dozens of companies which have coal mining projects in the works. While Indian giant Adani’s Carmichael mine has been in the spotlight in recent years, the International Energy Agency’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2016 released in December highlighted just how many projects are in the pipeline.
In fact, the IEA found a staggering 63 proposed coal mining projects in Australia, according to publicly available information. This compares with 22 projects in South Africa, 12 in Russia, 11 in Canada, seven in Indonesia, six in Mozambique and five in Colombia.
Some are committed but others are still in feasibility stage. The projects in Australia have been put forward by dozens of companies like BHP Billiton, Yancoal, Cockatoo Coal, Stanmore Coal, Qcoal, Waratah Coal, White Mountain, Peabody Energy, New Hope, Acacia Coal and many others.
But there’s very few new coal mining projects coming online around the world, with the majority postponed. Low and decreasing prices for coal have discouraged investment and the IEA doesn’t expect this to change.
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