New Hope Coal chief executive Rob Bishop says the Albanese government’s“same job, same pay” agenda threatens to drive the wrong outcomes and stymie investment as he delivered the biggest profit in the company’s history.
New Hope shareholders will receive total dividends of 70¢ per share for the year to July 31 after exceptionally high coal prices last summer drove the miner to a record $1.08 billion underlying profit.
The result means New Hope hasmade more profit in the past two years than in the previous 16 years combined, highlighting the extreme profitability flowing into the sector on the back of under-investment in new coal mines and the blacklisting of Russian coal over the Ukraine war.
Mr Bishop said there was “a bright future in thermal coal” despite efforts in many nations to reduce reliance on the fuel to meet emission reduction targets.
New Hope plans to almost double its coal production volumes this decade by spending less than $600 million on growth projects and has recently started production at the long stalled New Acland thermal coal mine in Queensland.
The company also owns 15 per cent of NSW miner Malabar Resources, which has this year started production at the Maxwell underground mine, which produces both coking coal for steelmaking and thermal coal.
New Hope will also spend $200 million growing production at its flagship Bengalla thermal coal mine in NSW, where volumes of saleable coal are expected to grow from about 9 million tonnes last year to about 11 million tonnes longer term.
Bengalla currently relies on labour hire groups for about 30 per cent of its workers.
The role of labour hire companies is under intense scrutiny amid the Albanese government’s plan to legislate workplace reforms thatRead more on afr.com