A "STRONG demand for NSW coal" has created more jobs in the Central West's mining sector during the past financial year, NSW Mining says.
In the western coalfields, which covers mining operations near Lithgow and Mudgee, nearly 150 more people are now working in the sector compared to the same time in 2018.
All up 3228 coal miners are now working across this region, the highest number of people in seven years.
The data was collected by industry body Coal Services and published by the NSW Minerals Councils this week and it revealed 1000 extra jobs had been created across the state during the 12-month period.
The most were in the Illawarra where almost 500 extra coal mining positions had been created to bring the total to 2934 positions.
This was followed by the Hunter where nearly 350 new workers brought the tally to 13,300 positions, while New England remained stable at 2814.
NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Stephen Galilee said a recent report by Commodity Insights found that the current power generation policies of governments in the Asia Pacific region would drive an increase in demand for thermal coal imports of 495 million tonnes across the region by 2040.
"This represents significant growth opportunities for NSW coal exports with the potential to provide more job opportunities to people in regional mining communities," he said.
NSW Business Chamber's Western NSW regional manager Vicki Seccombe said an increase in workers to the area had a positive flow-on impact for the economy.
"It's always positive to see jobs growth in the region, particularly during this drought which is affecting so many other businesses," she said.
"The good news for us is that mining is a key industry in Western NSW and a big employer.
"We are obviously glad to see it expanding - not every business or sector is fortunate enough to be in that position.
"For the state as a whole, coal is important, it's a big export and it's a positive thing that we are a key supplier into Asia."
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