The $14.2 billion Galilee Basin Alpha mining project is in the news once again with Indian company GVK hitting back after Greenpeace released a report saying its coal mining project in Queensland is nonviable.
Last week, Greenpeace released a report compiled by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
The report said the Alpha coal project, approved by Queensland and federal governments, was `stranded in the valley of death`, the Sunshine Coast Daily reported.
UNESCO said it would omit the Great Barrier Reef from the `in danger` list while expressing fears over coastal development near the reef.
The coal mine received Federal Government approval last year after Federal Environmental Minister Tony Burke suspended it in June, stirring a political and environmental conflict between stakeholders.
$14.2 billion Queensland coal mining projects
GVK is investing $14.2 billion in two large coal mines in the Galilee Basin ““ Alpha and Kevin`s Corner ““ plus an Abbot Point coal terminal at Bowen, and a 500 kilometre rail line to link them.
GVK coal managing director Paul Mulder slammed the criticisms in an interview to APN, saying the UNESCO and the Greenpeace reports were immaterial because GVK was operating above the world`s best environmental benchmark.
He said GVK spent $50 million for government-required environmental studies, using 250 scientists to `ensure the science, process and intended operations met those highest environmental standards`.
“The Australian people and international community do not like to be misled,”¯ Mulder said.
“That isn`t what GVK is about. We`re about factually stating our position on the work that we`ve done. Unfortunately, activists continue to get it wrong and misquote information.”¯
Mulder said while miners and governments were working together to understand the projects, UNESCO required more information.
“Unfortunately, these green activists behind the scenes are heavily lobbying inaccurate and misleading information to try to persuade UNESCO and others to take their view.”¯
GVK Hancock recently appointed Thiess as mine operations contractor for the Alpha project. It will work with Thiess to develop a 10-year mine plan and budget after signing an Early Services Agreement.
The ASX-listed rail company Aurizon – formerly known as QR National – has agreed in principal with GVK Hancock to jointly develop rail and port infrastructure to service the Alpha Coal project.
The deal is yet to be approved by its board, but in a statement it says it remains confident in the medium to long term outlook for global coal demand and the Galilee Basin.
Speaking to the ABC`s The World Today reporter Lexi Metherell, Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Rob Chandler said: “It’s a project the region desperately needs”¯.
“As far as we’re concerned as a community, we’re looking for that soft social infrastructure. The opportunities that these mines would present to our small communities at the moment who are struggling with depressed cattle, sheep and wool prices and drought.”¯
Galilee Basin linked to Queensland prosperity
The development of the Galilee Basin as a significant coal mining, processing and export base has the potential to create long-term economic prosperity for Queensland.
In recent years, international demand for thermal coal has been growing steadily and as a result, a great deal of commercial interest has been shown in developing the vast coal reserves of the Galilee Basin.
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Where is the Galilee Basin?
The Galilee Basin is located in western Queensland. It is located west of the Surat Basin and is part of the Great Artesian Basin and covers an area of approximately 247,000 square kilometres. Towns close to proposed mines in the basin include Alpha and Jericho.
The basin extends north past Hughenden, south to Charleville and west beyond Winton to Middleton. The Galilee Basin has been referred to as Australia’s newest mining province.
Vast low-sulphur thermal coal deposits cover the basin making it one of the richest coal mining assets in the world. It has been largely unexploited, although there are numerous mining projects in the feasibility stage including Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy and Indian company Adani.
The GVK Galilee mining project involves 100’s of kilometres of rail network to transport the high quality thermal coal to the ship loading terminals at Abbot Point.
Reference: GVK – Galilee Basin Mining Update