CENTRAL Queensland is in the midst of a metallurgical coal rush and the new Queensland Government is set to cash in.

Also known as coking coal, the commodity, which was an essential ingredient for steel production, has surged 33 per cent in price since the start of November to a seven month high of $US236 per tonne.

News Corp analyst John McCarthy said Queensland's new Treasurer Jackie Trad was poised to reap a potential $1.8b budget windfall, largely because of the increasing demand and restrictions on supply of coking coal, with the extra money set to pay down debt and help fund the government's infrastructure priorities.

Yancoal Australia general manager investor relations and corporate affairs, James Rickards, said the increased demand from China, plus recent interruptions to Central Queensland production as a result of detrimental weather impacts, has directly affected and positively improved market prices and demand for coking coal.

"Yancoal's Yarrabee mine in the Bowen Basin of Central Queensland produces approximately 3.6 million tonnes of PCI coal (metallurgical coal), exported to steel makers in the Asian region via the port of Gladstone," Mr Rickards said.

Source - The Morning Bulletin 
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