GVK Hancock gets clearance for $10bn Alpha coal project in Queensland

12 October 2014 (Last Updated October 12th, 2014 18:30)

GVK Hancock has received environmental approval from the Australian authorities for its Alpha coal project in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

GVK Hancock has received environmental approval from the Australian authorities for its Alpha coal project in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

The company said in a statement that the mine has been granted environmental authority (clearance) after more than six years of comprehensive environmental assessments and detailed planning.

GVK Hancock is a 79:21 joint venture between India's GVK Group and Australia's Hancock Prospecting.

GVK founder chairman and managing director GVK Reddy said: "This is one of the most significant milestones in the development of our Galilee Basin coal projects until date, which will create one of the most remarkable pieces of regional and economic developments Queensland has seen for decades."

"GVK now plans to invest $10bn to develop the Alpha mines, a 500km rail line and a port carrying 60 million tonnes of coal a year." 

GVK now plans to invest $10bn to develop the Alpha mines, a 500km rail line and a port carrying 60 million tonnes of coal a year.

Purchased by GVK in 2011 for $1.26bn, the mine has 1.2 billion tonnes of reserves and will operate as an open cut mine. It is expected to produce 32 million tonnes of low ash and low sulphur coal a year during its life time of 30 years.

GVK vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy said: "This milestone takes us another step closer towards commencing our proposed Alpha mine, which will create around 4,000 jobs during its three-year construction and more than 1,800 jobs over its 30+ years of operation.

"We've invested tens of millions of dollars and thousands of man hours assessing, planning and engaging with communities to reach this stage."

To begin work on the project, GVK will now need to sign a contract with coal rail operator Aurizon Holdings and get approval from regulatory bodies.

In May, the Queensland Government approved the $16bn Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin, being developed by another Indian company Adani Mining.

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