Australian federal authorities expected to give environmental clearance soon: Sanjay Reddy

Sanjay Reddy, GVK vice-chairman, and Georgina Hope Rinehart, chairman, Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd., the co-owners of the Alpha Mine & Rail project in Queensland, Australia, have expressed confidence of securing an early environmental clearance from Australian federal authorities.

Ms. Rinehart, who flew into the city to attend a board meeting, told reporters in the presence of GVK chairman G.V.K. Reddy and Mr. Sanjay Reddy, that the project was of immense importance to both Australia and India with the former having lot of coal and the latter requiring it. “Massive projects like this are revenue providers”, she added.

Referring to the environmental nod given by the Queensland Government, the Australian mining magnate said there was no instance of the Australian federal authorities not granting approval for a project after the State Government cleared it. Observing that it was good to hear assurances from the Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke, she said the federal clearance was expected by the end of this month or early August.

GVK acquired 79 per cent stake each in Alpha coal and Alpha West Coal mines and 100 per cent stake in Kevin’s Corner mines in Queensland. The remaining 21 per cent in Alpha coal project is owned by Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.

Replying to questions, Mr. Reddy said that around $ 8 billion of the envisaged $ 10 billion investment in the Alpha Coal project would be raised from banks and financial institutions. The financial closure was expected to be achieved by the first quarter of 2013.

The Alpha coal project consists of a 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) mine, a 495-km standard gauge railway with 60 mtpa approvals and a terminal and two berths at Abbot point. Stating that GVK’s Australian project was one of the largest integrated coal supply projects in the world, he said that more than 100 per cent of the order book was subscribed for the Alpha coal project and the first exports to South East Asian countries were expected by 2015-16.