Aquila takes Vale to court over Eagle Downs dispute

Aquila Resources is taking Vale-subsidiary Bowen Central Coal to court as a result of the impasse over the Eagle Downs coking coal project.

Aquila Resources is taking Vale-subsidiary Bowen Central Coal (BCC) to court as a result of the ongoing dispute over infrastructure arrangements for the Eagle Downs coking coal project.

The company yesterday announced it had commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland seeking damages from BCC.

BCC failed to sign off on the infrastructure arrangements, including access to the Abbot Point coal terminal and Queensland Rail’s upgraded rail network, by last Friday’s deadline.

It is understood Vale would prefer to export the coal of the Dalrymple terminal in Mackay.

The $2.3 billion coal project is a 50-50 joint venture between Aquila and BCC, located in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Aquila last week issued BCC with a default notice; however the latter indicated it did not think it had breached any agreements.

In a separate statement yesterday, Vale announced it was “fully committed to its coal operations in Australia, despite recent adjustments in the business organisation.”

“Vale is the world’s second largest diversified mining company based on market capitalisation and aims to be the largest mining company in the world,” the company’s global coal managing director Décio Amaral said.

“We understand that this achievement will not be possible without a strong presence in Australia.”

While mentioning it had a 50% stake in the Eagle Downs project, the company did not make any reference to the dispute or any possible alternative infrastructure arrangements.

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