Hyderabad, Aug 23 (IBNS) GVK, a leading Indian conglomerate, on Thursday said it welcomes the Federal Government's decision to grant environmental approval for the Alpha Mine and Rail Projects in Queensland, Australia.
"Following a rigorous and thorough assessment process by two levels of government spanning four years, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke gave an approval decision to construct and operate the Alpha Coal Mine and a railway line between the mine and the port at Abbot Point, near Bowen," said GVK in a statement.
"We are delighted with the Federal Government decision. Ultimately we believe the overall assessment process has resulted in best practice environmental protection outcomes," said company Chairman and Managing Director Dr. GVK Reddy.
It may be recalled that the Queensland Government had earlier accorded the environment clearance for the said project in May.
"This is another important milestone for our project which will provide significant benefits to the Alpha and Bowen regions, the state and the country," said GVK Vice-Chairman G V Sanjay Reddy.
"The projects we are planning will provide 2,000 on-going jobs in operations, directly employ around 4,000 during construction and return to government $1.5bn annually in royalties and taxes at peak production," he said.
GVK has acquired a 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. Ltd.
These projects hold total resources of 8 billion tonnes and a peak capacity of 80 million tonnes per annum. When combined, these Projects will create one of the largest coal mining operations in the world.
The Alpha Coal project has a mine life of 30+ years and a capacity of 32 mtpa which makes it suitable for high production open cut mining.
GVK has also acquired a 100% stake in the 500 km rail line and a 60 million tonne per annum port as part of the "pit-to-port" logistics solution.
The Queensland Government has selected GVK's Rail Corridor as the north-south corridor for connecting the Galilee Basin to the Port of Abbot Point in Australia.
GVK's coal mining project with its superior quality low ash, low sulphur and low gas thermal coal, will be reliably exported mainly to Asian destinations.
Construction is expected to start next year with first coal being produced in 2015/16.
"This positive decision also paves the way to ensure more than 1.4 billion people (largely in Asia) that face a major shortage of electricity, are provided with an additional source of coal to enhance supply of electricity to the region, thus improving quality of life of the people and overall economic development," said Sanjay Reddy.