Coal industry in flux

As low coal prices bite, miners lay off hundreds of staff, and operations close, the coal mining market continues to struggle.

In the past month BHP Billiton has closed its Gregory Crinum mine, Xstrata announced it will lay off around 600 workers, and the Queensland Government has hit the industry hard with more mining royalty hikes.

Now new data from IntierraRMG's coal database has shown that it is not just Australia's coal industry under pressure, but the global market.

It states that many producers are "struggling to offset the cost of production" as the coal price drops.

It points to the coal mining centres of the US, particularly those on the east coast "who are unable to export through the Pacific region [will be] left to reduce output, or leave their mines idling indefinitely.

However, it does show that Asia, and in particular India, will remain viable coal markets.

The report states that "India has seen its coal import demands increase annually due to inefficient domestic production.

"Indian conglomerates are increasingly venturing abroad in search of supply assets."

An example of this is the Adani coal mine in Queensland, and GVK's partnership with Gina Rinehart at her Alpha coal mine.

As the coal industry continues its flux globally, the likelihood of more job cuts increases.

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