The world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton, aims to increase mining production by about 10 per cent a year for the next two years, potentially offsetting lower prices that it expects for most of its products over the longer term.
And GVK Hancock Coal`s Alpha coal and rail project in central western Queensland doesn`t expect falling prices to impact its viability, citing strong demand for coal from India and Asia and a reduction in operating and capital costs.
BHP`s CEO, Marius Kloppers, speaking on ABC`s Inside Business program, said today: “I must emphasise that we’re clearly going to be investing a great deal of money in the next 12 months. Increased investment means more mining jobs for Australians.
“China’s growth rate may have slowed a bit, [but] China’s economy is very definitely still growing at the highest rate of the major economies in the world.
“We believe that while the absolute demand growth for products is going to be lower than we’ve seen in some recent years, we still believe there are very attractive opportunities for our BHP Billiton and indeed for Australia.”
GVK sells Australian infrastructure stakes to build Alpha Coal Mine
A spokesman for GVK, Paul Mulder said the target market for their massive coal mine is India and other parts of Asia.
GVK will sell stakes in its Australian rail and port subsidiaries to build the massive coal mine. The Indian conglomerate is looking to pump in around $10 million into the project to construct the 500 km rail line to connect the Galilee Basin coal mine to Abbot Point port with an expected 60 million tonne per annum set to be the target export figure.
Construction of the mine and infrastructure is expected to start in 2013, with the first coal scheduled to be produced by 2016. The Alpha project is expected to generate 1000″˛s of new mining jobs n the construction phase and create permanent Queensland mine jobs when the mine comes on-line. The Alpha coal mine consists of four principle layers, dipping from East to West and varying in thickness from 3 to 8 metres. This makes the mine highly suitable for high-production open-cut mining.
The Alpha project is 79 per cent owned by GVK and 21 per cent owned by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.
1500 coal mining jobs
Mr Mulder also said it was too early to know if overseas workers will be required, but 1500 mine workers will be needed in the construction phase, expected to begin at the site in mid 2013. A large proportion of the mine workers will be FIFO, with some DIDO workers sourced from the Alpha township area.