Discussion of the significant growth opportunities in the local coal industry is expected to dominate the agenda at this year’s Queensland Mining & Engineering Exhibition (QME) in Mackay from July 24-26.

The exhibition director with QME organizer Reed Mining Events, Paul Baker, says an April report from the Australian Federal Government’s Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE) shows the industry’s boom time will continue into the future.

“In addition to three coal mining projects completed in the Bowen Basin in the past six months, adding 8.3 million tonnes of production capacity, a further 11 Queensland coal projects are in advanced stages of development and are expected to be completed in the next two to three years,” he says.

“On top of these, the Galilee Basin, west of the Bowen Basin, is just starting open up with the Queensland government’s recent conditional approval for the $6.4 billion Alpha coal project, owned by Hancock Coal. This project also includes a 495km rail line to Abbot Point near Bowen, north of Mackay,” he says.

Another major infrastructure project under construction is BHP Billiton’s $2.4 billion Hay Point coal terminal in Mackay which is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The number of significant central Queensland coalmine expansions and developments will be a hot topic at the 10th QME, with more than 650 exhibitors showcasing products and services to boost efficiency and safety for mining companies.

“This exhibition brings buyers and sellers together in a single location; we have numerous instances of exhibitors who have launched new products, or even new businesses, at QME in past years. We have had suppliers of big-ticket capital equipment make direct sales at or following QME as a result of meeting the many decision-makers and decision-influencers who attend,” says Paul Baker.

Another anticipated segment of the two-day event will celebrate the increasing role of women in mining, and encourage greater participation from women in the industry. “Mining has really moved on from being a ‘men-only’ industry, and it has recognized that it needs to engage with people across the community – not only those currently involved, but those looking at job opportunities, and which will allow the industry to grow and prosper in years to come,” Paul Baker says


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