The land court of Queensland in Australia has granted a conditional clearance to the $10-billion Alpha coal mine project being developed by the GVK group.
The land court said GVK Hancock’s comprehensive environmental assessment addressed all the objections raised with no requirement for further conditions apart from groundwater. The groundwater conditions do not raise any new environmental obligations under the project’s existing environmental approvals.
“GVK Hancock welcomes the recommendations from the land court that the environmental authority (clearance) and mining lease for our Alpha coal project be granted subject to conditions. We fully understand the significant benefits our projects will bring to the region and will continue to work with the environmental regulators in relation to these recommendations,” GVK said in a statement.
In 2011, GVK acquired 79% stake in the Alpha Coal and Alpha West projects and a 100% stake in the Kevin’s Corner project in Queensland from Hancock Prospecting Pty.
GVK’s Alpha Coal Mine is located in the Galilee Basin with the first coal expected to be extracted by 2016. When fully commissioned, the mine will produce 32 million tonne of thermal coal per year for the Asian export market.
In August 2012, the Australian government gave a ‘green’ signal to Alpha Coal project comprising operation of coal mine and a railway line between the mine and the port at Abbot Point, near Bowen.
This recommendation to grant the mining lease and environmental authority endorses the comprehensive environmental assessments of the Galilee Basin projects, which was approved by state and federal governments.
GVK Hancock will continue working cooperatively with landholders, the local community and governments as the company progresses in its projects to a point where construction can commence.
GVK Hancock’s Galilee Basin projects include the Alpha, Alpha West and Kevin’s Corner coal projects, and incorporate associated infrastructure, including a rail solution connecting the Galilee Basin to a new coal terminal (T3) at the existing Abbot Point Coal Port. When combined, these projects will create one of the largest thermal coal mining operations in the world.
In December 2013, GVK Hancock received the Australian federal government’s approval for its Abbot Point Port Capital Dredging programme. This move finalised ministerial environmental approvals for its Galilee Basin coal assets and associated infrastructure.