NSW Minerals Council defends CPRS claims

NSW Minerals Council CEO Nikki Williams talks exclusively with MINING DAILY to refute union claims that the coal industry will not be adversely affected by the CPRS.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive Nikki Williams has told MINING DAILY that, despite union claims to the contrary, the Australian coal industry will be devastated by the introduction of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

An independent report released last week by the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), found that the Australian coal industry is in the middle of a massive expansion process and will not be severely affected by the introduction of a carbon scheme.

According to Williams, this Citigroup report did not draw on the same amount of data as the industry itself has at hand.

“The coal industry has the mine by mine data from 75 mines across New South Wales and Queensland, which accounts for 85% of the black coal industry in this country,” she said.

“That data, unfortunately, is quite clear that we are going to see major job losses and mine closures with the introduction of the CPRS in its current form.

“So in the case of independent surveys or analyses by Citibank, this modeling is simply not accurate. We (the coal industry) have got the data and we know what the circumstance are.”

Williams acknowledges that the industry is indeed experiencing some growth, but she says that it is not as simple as that growth meaning financial strength.

“The picture is clouded by the fact that there will be growth in the industry because there is demand so there will certainly be continued demand over time,” she said.

“But it depends on where you are on the cost curve; what kind of operation you run; what scale that operation is at; and of course the geological conditions.

“All of those things determine the magnitude of the impact of the CPRS, and that is where we come to the sad story of 16 mine closures across both states, 11 of which are in NSW.”

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