Mumbai: GVK Group said on Friday that it had secured the Australian government’s environmental approval for its Kevin’s Corner coal project in Queensland, enabling the company to take preliminary steps for construction.
The Kevin’s Corner project, with a mine life in excess of 30 years, will have the capacity to produce up to 30 million tonnes of export quality thermal coal per annum. Construction is expected to start in 2015, with production likely to begin in 2018, the company said in a statement.
In late 2011, GVK had acquired a 100% stake in the Kevin’s Corner project in Queensland from Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and a 79% stake in the Alpha Coal and Alpha West Coal projects.
When combined, the Galilee Basin projects will create one of the largest coal mining operations in the world, holding total resources of eight billion tonnes and a peak capacity of around 80 million tonnes per annum.
“Following a rigorous and thorough assessment process by two levels of government spanning five years, federal environment minister Greg Hunt gave an approval decision to construct and operate the Kevin’s Corner coal mine 50 kilometre north of the town of Alpha in Queensland," the company statement said.
The regional Queensland government gave its environmental clearance for the project in May and for the Alpha Mine and Rail projects in 2012.
These projects will offer superior quality, low-ash, low-sulphur and low-gas thermal coal, to be exported mainly to Asian destinations.
“As coal developers, we are uniquely placed, as we possess the federal and state government approvals that integrate our mine, rail and port projects that will definitely help in the opening up of the Galilee Basin," said G.V. Sanjay Reddy, vice-chairman of GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd.