GVK wins approval for $6.3bn Australia coal project

India’s GVK Power & Infrastructure has secured environmental approval from the state of Queensland for the A$6.4bn ($6.3bn) Alpha coal project, touted to be one of Australia’s biggest mines.

The proposed mine site in Galilee Basin is 130km south-west of Clermont and about 360km south-west of Mackay. State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said there’ll be an estimated $11bn boost to the economy during the mine’s three year construction phase, 80% of that will be retained in Queensland.

“Once operational, Queensland’s economy should see an economic boost of $1bn per year from this mine alone,” he added. “Australia can expect an $80 billion dollar rise in exports over the life of the mine.”

Queensland’s Coordinator-General has approved the mine with 128 conditions and the proposal is for an open-cut mine with an initial export capacity of 30 millions tons a year coal and a 495km rail line from the mine to the Port of Abbot Point near Bowen.

The current plan for the mine entails six separate open-cut pits, with a total strike length of 24km in a north-south direction. Construction work is scheduled to run between 2013 and 2016 and the mine is expected to operate for 30 years.

The project is still subject to a number of assessments, including the Federal Minister for Environment’s under Commonwealth environmental legislation.