477160_1153934Exploration and coal mine development company Waratah Coal Pty Ltd is pleased to announce they have been declared a Preferred Respondent for the expansion of Abbot Point coal export terminals T4-9.

The announcement by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) guarantees a port site for Waratah Coal’s proposed $8 billion coal mine and infrastructure project in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

Waratah Chairman Clive Palmer said the company was looking forward to working cooperatively with NQBP and other successful respondents in developing T4-9.

“This is a significant milestone for the Galilee Coal Project, which will create 6,000 jobs during construction and support on average an additional 3000 jobs through flow-on activity,” he said.

“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.”

As a Preferred Respondent, Waratah will now work exclusively with NQBP to negotiate a Framework Agreement.

The Galilee Coal 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 the new T4-T9 coal terminal at Abbot Point near Bowen by a new 471km standard gauge, heavy haul railway line.
Mr Palmer said the decision by NQBP provided certainty to Waratah’s proposed rail alignment and significantly de-risked the project.

“The rail line will unlock vast coal resources from within the untapped Galilee Basin region,” he said.

“The port decision will enhance prospects for third party users to enter Waratah’s proposed rail network, which will employ approximately 1,000 workers during construction and up to 360 operational personnel.”

Mr Palmer said pending approvals, construction of open cut and underground mines is proposed to commence next year and be completed in late 2014.
“The project target is for coal exports to commence in early 2015,” he said.

The Galilee Coal Project was granted ‘significant project’ status by the Coordinator-General of Queensland in November, 2008. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently before the Coordinator-General.

Waratah Coal is part of the Mineralogy Group and the company is 100 per cent owned by Mineralogy Pty Ltd.