Up to a third of Queensland coal mines are operating at a loss according to QRC data.
The Queensland Resources Council has released a new report showing the dire state of the industry as it seeks to pay fewer royalties and cap council rates, according to the ABC.
It follows QRC head Michael Roche calling on QLD premier Anna Palaszczuk to support the industry as it is battered by the downturn.
“The Queensland resources sector is facing some of the toughest conditions in decades, with more than 20,000 jobs lost over the past two years as a result of the downturn,” Roche said.
“The Queensland Resources Council is not looking for bailouts or subsidies but our entire sector needs certainty and support in the shape of commitments to reduce red tape and unjustified government-imposed costs. The sector is also seeking a long-term commitment to royalty stability beyond the life of this parliament.
Roche called on the government to help protect the remaining 60,000 mining jobs left in the state, and protect it from rising operating prices, adding there has been a ‘blow out’ in local government rates.
He also pushed for a reduction in state royalties.
"There are many companies paying royalties to the Government yet they are not making any profits," Roche said.
"There is a whole range of government-imposed and sanctioned costs and charges that really need to come under the microscope."
His comments have been slammed by environmental group Lock the Gate, with spokesperson Drew Hutton stating it is "absurd that the industry in now crying poor after coming off the greatest boom in recent history during which they made billions".
“The industry is inherently cyclical and there is no case for industry relief. The industry should have been prepared for the inevitable downturn,” he said.
"Mining is a long-term business and it obviously did a very poor job in managing its cashflow.
“The Qld Government must resist subsidising mining and rewarding them for poorly managing their businesses. There is another approach to securing jobs that the Government should consider."