The Hunter Valley has been the biggest black coal region of Australia since white settlement. Newcastle, the capital of the Hunter, boasts that it’s the biggest coal port in the world. (Queensland, could soon supersede this title as they open up their coal regions)
Upper Hunter Waterkeeper follows much of the coal news of the nation.
All the coal exported from the East Coast of Australia will travel past the Great Barrier Reef. (refer to map – AUSTRALIAN COASTAL CATCHMENT – © Commonwealth of Australia.)
Environmental damage from mining arises not only from disturbances to natural landscapes, but also through refinement and shipment processes.
Coal is also exported through coastal city ports on the East Coast of Australia. Mackay and Gladstone ports, are located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Mining in Australia: Overview
Australia is the largest coal exporter in the world. By 2020, it’s expected that Australia will export 900 Million tonnes of coal per year.
Coking coal exports (2010): 159 Million tonnes per annum (Mtpa)
Expected coking coal exports in 2020: 300 Mtpa
Thermal coal exports (2010): 143 Mtpa
Expected thermal coal exports in 2020: 600 Mtpa.