Presenter profile: The eternal optimist – David Moult, CEO – Yancoal Australia Limited.

Posted on February 19th, 2021 in BLOG

“The best part of my job: watching a longwall producing coal”.

Return Austmine presenter and coal industry stalwart, David Moult joins a passionate industry line-up for Austmine 21, held in Perth, Australia during 25 – 27 May 2021.

The Austmine team caught up with David to delve into his role as Chief Executive Officer of Yancoal Australia Limited (Yancoal), what drives him, why coal has been his career-home and thoughts on Austmine’s 2021 theme, Harnessing Intelligence.

Life-long career in coal?

I am a proud mining engineer and enjoy every part of our industry, the optimistic hard-working people, the wide-scoping innovation, and the collegial approach to solving the complex problems we face in an ever-changing environment.

I have been Yancoal’s CEO since March 2020, following two years as a non-executive director. Being Australia’s largest pure coal producer, with an impressive portfolio of great assets, I’m excited by the challenges and opportunities of the role and bringing my own innovation to this leading organisation.

I value sharing my knowledge and empowering a strong safety culture and instilling a high-level of environmental responsibility across our sites.

Seeing our industry evolving through changing environments, adapting to emerging technologies and providing endless opportunities for its people keeps me engaged, I see these elements as fundamental building blocks for creating a sustainable industry and in truth, critical elements when we talk across this year’s Austmine theme of Harnessing Intelligence.

Still after many years the best part of my job is watching a longwall producing coal.

Insights on what drove Yancoal’s success through COVID-19?

Our outstanding people; sure like the global industry we had challenges, but we faced them head on together while innovating, collaborating and keeping safe. The Board and executive group were pleased with the September 2020 results which provided us with a good understanding of what can be achieved in uncertain landscapes.

Harnessing intelligence – how does it translate to the METS sector?
It is a timely topic in our global landscape. Intelligence combines what we have learnt along the way and inspires further conversation to broaden our vision for the way forward. In this industry, this talks to supporting technological advancements and sharing innovations for our future sustainability.

At Yancoal, we empower our people to be curious and collaborate to generate, grow and implement innovations. This thinking has seen us achieve elevated levels of automation for longwall mining, continuous mining, coal clearance, pumping and conveyor systems at our Moolarben underground asset. We are also conducting tests on autonomous dozer-push operations at Cameby Downs to evaluate if this innovation impacts on our safety, efficiency and cost saving measures.

During the pandemic, we installed thermal imaging cameras to the site entrances, by harnessing our own intelligence on this matter, we have been able to implement initiatives to ensure the safety of our people while supporting continuous operations. Due to the camera’s success with our people’s safety and wellbeing – we are in discussions to keep the technology into the future.

Coal’s position in the energy mix: current and future?

The industry has journeyed through its fair share of cycles and I would expect this to continue. Being at the right end of the cost curve, investing in our people to innovate and maintaining our portfolio of low-cost assets gives our company strength to thrive despite these cycles.

The demand for coal will be strong for the foreseeable future – it’s an essential part of the global energy mix, especially for emerging economies. The development of new energy sources, such as renewables, are expected to increase the global energy demand for all providers and while the coal industry may see a retraction in coal’s percentage of the energy mix, demand is expected to remain strong.

Hear more from Yancoal Chief Executive Officer David Moult during Austmine’s 2021 Conference: Harnessing Intelligence, 25 – 27 May 2021.

Share this article: