In a significant development the Land Court of Queensland in Australia has granted conditional clearance to USD 10 billion Alpha Coal Mine project being developed by the GVK Group there.
"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 had acquired 79 per cent stake in the Alpha Coal and Alpha West projects and 100 per cent stake in the Kevinís Corner project in Queensland from Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.
GVKís 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 tonnes of thermal coal per year for the Asian export market.
In August 2012, the Australian government gave '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.
"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 told PTI.
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 USD 40 billion in taxes and royalties over the life of the mines.
The Hancock Coal project is expected to bring on line a new world class high quality, low ash, low sulphur, low gas thermal coal basin with an ability to lower global emissions from coal fired power generation, the statement added.