PERTH (miningweekly.com) - The federal government this week launched a A$70-million coal-mining abatement technology support package to help coal miners reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by developing abatement technologies.
Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said that the support package was aimed at accelerating the development of abatement technologies and processes to maintain the future viability and international competitiveness of the Australian coal-mining industry.
“Coal exports make a significant economic contribution to Australia, accounting for about 17% of our merchandise trade and employing over 50 000 people. Coal mining is central to the local economy of many regional areas. We, therefore, need to take steps to ensure the industry has a sustainable future as we move to a carbon-constrained economy,” Ferguson said in Newcastle.
“It is a matter of doing things differently, improving on the past and continuing to innovate.”
The Minister added that Australia was a world leader in researching ways to measure and abate coal-mining emissions, with over ten years of industry experience, adding that the support package would assist such innovation through research and development of leading-edge coal abatement technologies designed to safely reduce emissions from coal mining.
The A$70-million package has three key areas of focus, namely supporting research, development and demonstration of abatement technologies and processes, funding measures that address safety and regulatory issues associated with the development and deployment of these technologies, and supporting small and medium-sized mines to prepare carbon-emissions abatement strategies.
The first round of funding for the support package was currently open.
Australia recently implemented a carbon tax, putting a levy of A$23/t on firms with emission levels of more than 25 000 t/y. The resources industry has previously warned that the introduction of the carbon tax, along with the mineral resources rent tax, would make the mining industry in the country uncompetitive on the global markets.