Union slams coal industry’s CPRS claims

The Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union has told MINING DAILY that the coal industry's cries for help in the face of emissions trading are unfounded.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has attacked the coal industry’s campaign that suggests it will be devastated by the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

According to an independent report from Citigroup commissioned by major mining investors, 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, the CFMEU said.

CFMEU national research director Peter Colley told MINING DAILY that several coal miners have made recent announcements about increased capacity and expanded production.

“These things are all happening while the CPRS is under debate, so those expansions are going ahead whether or not the CPRS happens,” he said.

Many in the coal industry have been saying for months that if the CPRS goes ahead in its current form it will add huge costs to production, which will in turn lead to massive job cuts.

The industry has said it needs concessions from the Federal Government in order to save money and jobs.

These concessions, says Colley, are simply unnecessary because the CPRS will not result in major financial burdens on the coal industry.

“The Government’s own analysis and the industry’s analysis is that most coal mines will face charges from emissions trading of between 80 cents and $1.80 a tonne,” he said.

“When you look at the fact that the vast majority of coal mines have cash operating margins far in excess of that, they are in no danger.

“Since the Federal Government made some concessions to various industries, like the LNG industry, the coal industry thinks it should get a special deal as well.”

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.