Waratah Coal Pty Ltd (“Waratah Coal” or the “Company”), an exploration and coal development company, has lodged an application for the rail corridor of its proposed ‘Galilee Coal Project’ to be approved as an Infrastructure Facility of Significance (IFS).

The project is located in the undeveloped Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. The $8 billion project includes a large scale thermal coal mine near Alpha, west of Emerald. The complex will include four underground mines, two surface mines and associated coal handling and processing facilities. The mine will be linked to a new coal terminal at Abbot Point near Bowen by a new 471km standard gauge, heavy haul railway line.

The Office of the Coordinator-General has received Waratah’s IFS application for the rail corridor and a review is pending.

The application requests the Coordinator-General to evoke powers under the SDPWO Act to compulsorily acquire interests in land within the proposed rail corridor.
Waratah believes the project addresses the prerequisite requirements to meet that power because the infrastructure is of high social and economic significance to Australia, Queensland and the region,

The mine and associated infrastructure will create 6,000 jobs during construction and support on average an additional 3000 jobs through flow-on activity. It is forecast that there will be 2460 long term jobs for the operation of the rail line, mine and port facilities and support for 4464 long term jobs through flow-on activity.

The project is estimated to generate $4.6 billion per annum in export revenues and increase Queensland government and federal government revenues by $343 million per annum and $709 million per annum respectively.

Other benefits from the project include improved local road, air strip and utilities infrastructure which in turn will boost the region’s business capacity and competitiveness.

The Galilee Coal Project and Waratah’s Galilee Power project have both been granted ‘significant project’ status by the Coordinator-General of Queensland in November, 2008, and September, 2009, respectively.

A link between the Galilee Basin’s abundant resources and export infrastructure will open the Galilee Basin for future development and also reduce hurdle rates for future resource developments. Potentially the link could support a capacity upwards of 400Mtpa, to which Waratah Coal has received significance interest from other Galilee Basin proponents.

The cost of the railway corridor, supporting facilities and rolling stock needed to deliver 40 Mtpa of product coal is estimated to be $A2.1 billion. The project schedule will see construction commence in early 2012 and completed within the final quarter of 2014, subject to the obtainment of the necessary environmental approvals