India’s Union Minister of Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma, is currently on a five-day visit to Australia and New Zealand to negotiate cooperation in the mining and resources sector.
This news should be encouraging for those considering mining apprenticeships in Queensland, as Mr Verma has expressed a specific interest in the mineral-rich state.
After meeting with Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripp, Mr Verma expressed he believed India and Queensland should jointly explore the possibility of investment in development of coal assets.
Currently, India uses a portion of Queensland’s coking coal to support a burgeoning steel industry. The diplomatic visit to Australia and New Zealand was arranged to discuss the possibility of expanding steel production.
India plans to increase steel production from its present level of approximately 80 million tonnes each year to an impressive 300 million tonnes over the next few years.
If India is to follow through on this commitment, it will require Queensland and Australian mining firms to supply coking coal to the domestic steel industry on a priority basis.
As it stands,Australia’s coal industry primarily supplies Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. Japan accounts for 39.3 per cent of Australia’s black coal exports, receiving more than 115 million tonnes annually.
Comparatively, India takes only 31.9 million tonnes. This demand is expected to increase dramatically as India ramps up their steel production.
To keep up with this rising demand, Queensland’s coal industry is expected to surge ahead of previous production expectations.
Individuals seeking apprenticeships in Emerald will be particularly well placed to take advantage of the desired growth in the steel industry.
This is because the new Kevin’s Corner mine will be operated by the joint Indo-Australian partnership, GVK-Hancock.
The Galilee Basin mining investment is forecast to cover 37,380 hectares in a combined underground and open-cut coal mine.
Ultimately, this project should supply an additional 30 million tonnes of coal products for export purposes once at full capacity.
It is particularly encouraging for those seeking construction apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland, as the Kevin’s Corner mine is expected to create 1,800 employment opportunities during the construction phase alone.
Additionally, more than 1,600 individuals will be able to retain jobs in the mine once the project is operational.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator