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Aussie Coal in Current Times

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Taking us through the journey of Australian coal up until the 1960’s with his first book in 2019, Denis Porter now tells the story of coal development from 1970 to 2020 with Volume 2 of Coal: The Australian Story.

Former CEO of the NSW Minerals Council, Denis Porter has had an expansive career in the coal mining industry and with that has come a wealth of knowledge and appreciation for one Australia’s biggest resources.

His passion for the growth of the Australian coal industry led to his first book published last year, Coal: The Australian Story – a story of the development of the coal industry in NSW and Queensland up to the 1960’s. Following its success, his new volume covers the period from the 1970’s to the present.

Denis only received positive feedback from the first volume, however, believes most readers will be able to relate more to the second volume largely because of the time period it covers. “For someone born say in the 1990’s, the 1960’s or earlier are almost ancient history,” said Denis.

“The years since the 1970’s has seen the Australian coal industry grow to become the dominant supplier of metallurgical coal to major world markets and the number two exporter of thermal coal, supplying quality coal to the power stations of Asia.

“This period has also been one which has seen major industrial turmoil, restructuring of the industry and its regulatory structure, major changes in ownership, tragic safety lapses and controversies involving coal prices and contracts, foreign investment, taxation, royalties and rail freight rates.”

Delving into these topics in the first five chapters, Denis looks briefly at the future prospects for the industry in chapter six. With Covid currently affecting industry and markets worldwide, Denis is confident there is still a strong future for the Australian coal industry.

“The Australian mining industry, including coal mining, has done a great job in continuing to operate during the pandemic, and this is a major reason why our economy has not suffered as much as in some other countries,” said Denis.

“We can be pretty confident that the industry will continue to deliver for everyone over the next couple of years, although further easing of State border restrictions will make that job a lot easier.”

It would be impossible to include the entire past 50 year history of coal in Australia in one book, and Denis noted that there are many issues he didn’t cover, but hopes that the book does cover many major aspects of the industry which have been fundamental to its development and evolution into the modern industry of today.

The book is available direct from the publisher, Connor Court Publishing and can be ordered now for delivery in November.

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