This week’s Mudgee Mining conference is could become a regular event showcasing the region as an area for investment across wide ranging industries.
About 90 explorers, project developers, service providers and government representatives attended the two-day event at Parklands Resort, organised by conference group Informa.
Informa spokesman Bruce Ewan said numbers reached their expectations for the inaugural conference and all speakers gave informative presentations.
Mudgee Mining chair and AustCoal Consulting Alliance Chairman, Bede Boyle, delivered an address about investment in the future of Australia’s coal industry on Monday.
“Australian coal exports are in transition from being constrained by infrastructure to a decade of growth enabled by major investment in all Australian export ports,” he said.
Mr Boyle indicated Australia’s coal exports could triple in this decade alone.
In 2010 Australia exported 302 million tonnes of coal and is looking at exporting 485 million tonnes by 2015. In 2020 the nation could possibly be exporting 900 million tonnes.
Mr Boyle said the Global Financial Crisis had seen China and India emerge as importers of Australian coal and investors in the nation’s infrastructure.
Quoting from a report by the Federal government’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics in 2011, Mr Boyle said by 2020 China and India are projected to account for more than a quarter of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In 1990 China and India together accounted for less than a tenth of the world GDP,” Mr Boyle said.
“This represents a fundamental and historic shift in the world’s economic activity from West to East.”
The Mudgee Mining chair also showed positive effects coal contributions were having in China and India to bring them out of poverty.
He said in 15 years from 1990 to 2005 China’s access to electricity increased 76 per cent. Their food production index increased 88 per cent, abject poverty decreased 45 per cent, and infant mortality declined 39 per cent.
Mr Boyle reiterated the importance of investment in Australia by highlighting moves by BHP Billiton and Indian groups such as GVK to invest in vertical integration of mines, rail and port infrastructure to establish logistics control of their export coal chains.