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Aussie court clears GVK project

Hyderabad, April 8 (Agencies): An Australian court has allowed GVK Group to mine coal in Australia’s Queensland state, which will be exported to India in 2-3 years, meeting to an extent the huge demand for the natural resource in the country.

However, while clearing the $10-billion Alpha Coal Mine projects, the Land Court of Australia has imposed stringent environment conditions over water management before developing the mine in the Australian Outback.

“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.

GVK Hancock is a joint venture between GVK and mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s private Hancock Prospecting.

The court recommended Queensland state approve a mining lease for the Alpha coal mine as long as conditions were met on addressing objections made under the mineral resources and environmental protection acts.

In 2011, GVK had acquired a 79 per cent stake in the Alpha Coal and Alpha West projects and a 100 per cent stake in Kevin’s Corner project in Queensland from Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.

GVK’s Alpha coal mine is located in Galilee Basin with the first coal expected to be extracted by 2016. When fully commissioned, the mine will produce 32 million tonnes of coal per year for the Asian export market.

In August 2012, the Australian government gave the green signal to the Alpha coal project comprising the operation of a coal mine and a railway line between the mine and the port at Abbot Point.

“With this, everything is clear for the project to take off. The Queensland government will have to issue us the mining lease for Alpha Coal project,” a GVK official said.

The coal projects will provide direct employment to around 7,500 people across the region, state and nation during construction, and almost 4,000 once operational, contributing over $40 billion in taxes and royalties over the life of the mines.

 
 
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