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This year saw 24,984 people working in coal mining production in NSW alone, according to the latest data from Coal Services, NSW’s specialised health and safety scheme.

The data shows the highest result since June 2012, with over 300 more coal mining jobs in the western region of NSW and an increase in the southern region to the second-highest local coal mining employee population at 3397.

NSW’s largest coal mining region, the Hunter, showed a total of 14,584 jobs, the second highest number the region has seen since June 2014.

The Gunnedah region saw only a slight dip since setting the all-time record in April at 3253 employees.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Stephen Galilee said the increase in coal mining jobs in NSW was a sign of the ongoing importance and resilience of the NSW coal sector.

“The growth in the number of people in coal mining jobs across NSW in recent years shows that the NSW coal mining industry remains critical to regional communities and the state economy, and also highlights the need to ensure mining communities are supported,” Galilee said.

“The strong contribution of the coal sector reflects overall growth across the entire mining industry in NSW, including in metals mining.  Metals mining jobs are also at near record levels with nearly 8,000 people working in the NSW metals mining sector based on the latest annual NSW Mining Industry Expenditure Impact Survey.

“These jobs help support regional communities, and are also making a very important economic contribution to the NSW economy.

“The demand for our metals, critical minerals and high-quality coal is expected to grow over the next decade. With the right policy settings we can ensure mining investment and jobs are locked in for the future.”