A peak mining body has dismissed suggestions that a Chinese ban on “dirty” coal would devastate Australia’s multi-billion dollar exports to the Asian economic powerhouse.
China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission has flagged an import ban on certain low-grade coal from January 1 next year in a bid to tackle crippling smog in its major cities.
There’s fears such a move would jeopardise Australia’s lucrative coal exports to it’s largest trading partner.
But the Minerals Council of Australia has quickly labelled such reports “misleading and unnecessarily alarmist”.
The council’s executive director Greg Evans said it appeared the proposed ban would only affect brown coal – which Australia does not export – and low quality domestic black coal.
“There is nothing in the information which suggests that Australian coal exporters will be disadvantaged and we are confident that we can meet the proposed specifications,” he said in a statement.
The council anticipates demand for Australia’s high-quality thermal black coal to remain strong not just from China but other emerging economies.
China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, accounting for around half of global consumption.
Figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade show Australia exported $9 billion worth of coal to China last year.