Chinese delegation visits Galilee mine site

A delegation from the Metallurgical Corporation of China is currently in Queensland to visit the proposed development site of the Galilee Basin thermal coal mine.

A delegation from the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) is currently in Queensland to visit the proposed development site of Australia’s largest thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

Brisbane-based Waratah Coal has entered into a memorandum of understanding with MCC to develop the A$7.5 billion China First Project, which includes the Galilee mine site, a new coal export terminal at Abbot Point, Bowen, as well as a 490km railway line to link the two.

Waratah Coal chief executive Peter Lynch told MINING DAILY the Galilee mine will produce 40 mtpa of thermal coal over a minimum life expectancy of 25 years.

“Under the terms of the memorandum, MMC will take around 30 mtpa over the 25 years,” he said.

“They are also arranging 70% of the finance through banks in China.”

According to the company, the project is expected to create 6000 jobs during construction and 1500 during operation.

Waratah is aiming for construction to commence in October 2010 for completion by late 2013.

According to Lynch, MCC has agreed to be the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the project.

“The delegation includes representatives from MCC and its sub-contractors China Rail Engineering, Sino Coal and China Ports,” he said.

“They’ll be in charge of the project and they use whatever means they deem appropriate to deliver the project within the time frame and price.”

“I expect the process will be similar to the Sino Iron project that MCC is building with CITIC Pacific in Western Australia, in which companies like Thiess have been sub-contracted.”

The group is currently inspecting the proposed mine site and will also take a low level flight along the proposed rail route and fly over the Port of Abbot Point.