A COAL export terminal worth $5 billion in NSW which would have created 1500 jobs has been put on hold after Hunter Valley coal producers pushed to reduce contract tonnages as market conditions put future mine expansion plans in doubt.
Port Waratah Coal Services, which is backed by a consortium of miners led by Rio Tinto and Xstrata, said yesterday there would not be enough demand to justify proceeding with its planned T4 coal loader development slated for Kooragang Island near Newcastle.
The news provides further evidence of the impact falling commodity prices are having on the nation's resources sector, and of the weakness in coal prices thanks in large part to a shifting global energy market.
Increasingly, the US has been exporting excess coal because of surging domestic gas supplies.
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