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Due to lower contract and spot prices for both metallurgical and thermal coal during the latter half of 2012, however, the value of Australian coal exports declined from 013 million in 2011 to 563 million in 2012.
Coal is a combustible sedimentary rock formed predominantly from plant material that has been deposited in ancient marshy environments.
Through burial over long periods of geological time, the plant material is transformed by microbial action, pressure and heat into coal.
Approximately 31 per cent of Recoverable EDR is located in the Sydney Basin (NSW), 31 per cent in the Bowen Basin (Qld), 13 per cent in the Surat Basin (Qld) and 10 per cent in the Galilee Basin (Qld).
In the twelve months to December 2012, estimates of Australia's Recoverable Paramarginal Demonstrated Resources increased by 38 per cent to 1134 Mt and estimates of Recoverable Submarginal Demonstrated Resources remained virtually unchanged at 3984 Mt.
Estimates of Recoverable and Inferred Resources increased by approximately 12 per cent (to 64 184 Mt and 89 194 Mt, respectively) during this period.