Customers & markets

We work with customers to help them meet their business needs and environmental obligations

2011 provided a challenging and dynamic environment in which to operate. During the year the global markets went from extreme supply tightness at the start of the year, due to flood events in Queensland and New South Wales, to concern about the global economy and global growth at the end of the year, causing market weakness and depressed sentiment. The long term outlook remains robust with Asian economic growth maintaining demand for thermal and metallurgical coal. However, the shorter term outlook is more cautious with the current European debt concerns reducing growth, which may affect Asian exports and coal demand.

We continue to work closely with customers to further our understanding of the way our products are being used. With this knowledge we are better able to service their changing needs. Additionally, we look for opportunities to collaborate with our customers and foster mutual understanding on utilisation of our products. 

2011 production and sales

In 2011, Rio Tinto Coal Australia produced and sold 46.7 million tonnes of coal.

Queensland production

2008 2009 2010 2011
Coking coal (million tonnes) 9 9 11 11
Thermal and semi-soft coal (tonnes) 11 12 11 9
Total production (million tonnes) 20 21 22 20

New South Wales production

2008 2009 2010 2011
Semi-soft coking coal (million tonnes) 4 4 5 4
Thermal coal (tonnes) 21 21 20 22
Total production (million tonnes) 25 25 25 26