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The New South Wales Minerals Council says the existing Hunter Valley Rail Corridor will ultimately prevent the industry from keeping up with an increase in international demand for coal.
Research released earlier this week predicted Australia's coal exports will increase significantly over the next decade, with thermal coal exports alone expected to increase from 119 to 235 million tonnes.
But the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics report also warned infrastructure upgrades were needed to keep up with the demand.
Minerals Council CEO Stephen Gallilee agrees.
"There are around 20 smaller rail projects currently underway to increase capacity of the rail corridor beyond 200 million tonnes," he said.
"But we are going to be constrained by a 250 million tonne limit on the existing rail corridor, even with those smaller projects going forward."
Meanwhile the Minerals Council says it is not too concerned with a fall in thermal coal prices.
The thermal coal price has dropped by as much as 25 per cent so far this year, with global analysts unsure how long the slump will last.
Excess global supply and weaker demand from the world's biggest coal consuming nations are being blamed for the slide.
Mr Galilee does not believe it will have any significant impacts on the New South Wales mines.
"We hope that it is a short term challenge for us."
"We also deal with challenges of exchange rates and other business costs and of course additional taxes but mining projects are long term projects and fluctuations in price and exchange rates are taken into account when those projects are planned," he said.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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