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Coal association to dismantle

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The national coal industry lobby will be dismantled, with its members to integrate with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

In a joint statement, the MCA and the ACA said the decision to streamline representation of the mining industry was taken by member companies to guarantee the industry is “well positioned” for the future.

“The move will enhance the minerals industry’s representation through a strong and united voice for the minerals sector on national policy,” MCA chairman Andrew Michelmore and ACA chairman Ross Willims said.

The reason for the dismantling of the ACA is said to be because mining giants and lobby members such as Rio Tinto , BHP Billiton and GlencoreXstrata have slashed costs and asked whether two representative bodies are necessary, The Australian reported.

The coal industry will continue looking at burning coal cleaner for lower emissions even as Australian coal demand remains bright due to increased gas prices and reduced carbon prices.

The Coal 21 fund will continue as a separate company and continue researching low emissions technology, Michelmore and Williams said.

Minerals council chief Mitch Hooke, who announced his exit in February, will not leave his position early on the count of the integration. He will stay as the head of the expanded MCA until the end of the year.

He recently attacked the project approvals process and green tape in Australia, saying the process is in crisis.

Around 12000 coal jobs have been gone this past year, which has also seen ACA chief executive Dr Nikki Williams stand down.

Willlims thanked Williams for her services.

“Nikki brought great passion, commitment and drive, together with deep experience, to the ACA role and is thanked for her service to this critical industry.

“Nikki’s advocacy skills have delivered on an important strategic agenda for the industry and is leaving with our best wishes for the future,” he said.

Australian Mining recently reported declining commodity prices and increasing operational costs is hampering Australia’s coal industry.

Wood Mackenzie’s research, which was commissioned by the ACA, said over 9000 jobs had been lost in the last 15 months until May.

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