Natural disasters cost Queensland resources sector $5 billion
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says flooding and cyclones have cost the industry $5 billion in lost production and that figure could rise with many mines still waterlogged.
Figures from the March quarter show production is down 30 per cent compared to the same time last year.
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said about 12 mines have been decommissioned due to water in the pits, with three-quarters of all Queensland coal mines operating under special permits to get rid of the water.
"But it's a very slow process and the approvals they've been given have a lot of ifs and buts around them, so it's not the panacea," he said.
"For many mines, they will go into next wet season carrying still, a lot of water.
"Unfortunately, based on the numbers we're seeing coming through for the March quarter, this is an issue that could well endure into next financial year for some of those of those mines, unless we can get some more action out of government to allow these mines to get rid of the water more quickly."
The QRC says coal seam gas will be the state's second most exported resource by 2020.
Mr Roche says liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in central and south-western Queensland should start to come online by 2014, with exports predicted to reach $20 billion by 2020.
He says Queensland is leading the world in the developing LNG sector.
"It's hard to find any part of the world that's proposing to build so many LNG plants at one time," he said.
"So quite extraordinary to see as many as four projects under construction at different phases in the one place."