ABC.net reported today that Queensland’s Abbot Point terminal pushed through an astonishing 80% more coal this July than the same month last year. According to government data, 1.92 million tonnes of the solid black gold found its way through the terminal last month. These latest numbers provide further evidence that coal companies are back up and running after January floods knocked out key coal transport lines for more than a month.
However, the recovery hasn’t been without its controversy. Part of the reason for the area’s speedy recovery was due to the government’s approval for four BMA mines owned by BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) to release excess water into the Fitzroy Basin. Despite opposition from environmentalists, the pilot project is set to expand this year, which could keep other miners in the area like Yancoal (ASX: YAL) and New Hope Group (ASX: NHC) pushing full-steam ahead.
The 2012-2013 fiscal year saw Queensland coal export volumes hit their highest levels in three years. Estimated damages from the flood clocked in between $200 million to $300 million, and it looks as if coal companies are hungry to cover lost costs. Like it or not, coal is very much alive in Queensland, and this latest news shows that markets and local government are working to make sure it stays that way.
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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.