Clive Palmer has secured what he is hailing as the largest export contract in Australia’s history.
The Queensland mining magnate announced over the weekend that his company, Resourcehouse, had signed a US$60 billion coal export deal for its proposed China First mine in Central Queensland.
The 20-year sales agreement is with China Power International Development, one of China’s largest power companies and the flagship business of China Power Investment Corporation (CPI).
“This deal with CPI is Australia’s biggest ever export contract,” Palmer said.
The deal will see the Chinese company buy 30 million tonnes of coal per year at a cost of around US$3 billion a year and, according to Palmer, likely restore Queensland’s AAA credit rating.
The contract also includes an US$8 billion mine construction plan to develop the China First mine, which Palmer said will create more than 6000 new local jobs, as well as thousands more indirect positions.
The operation will include a large scale thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin, as well as four underground mines, two surface mines and associated coal handling and processing facilities.
Putting aside political and legal differences, Palmer stood alongside Queensland Premier Anna Bligh to make the announcement on Saturday, with both telling journalists it will have a very positive long-term impact on the resource-rich State.
“It is world demand which is making it a commercial opportunity,” Ms Bligh said.
“It will create tens of thousands of jobs in construction and in operation of the mine, port and rail over that time.”
While the Export-Import Bank of China has agreed to contribute US$5.6 billion for the construction plan, Palmer emphasised the project was 100% Australian owned.
“When you need a lot of money there is no better place to get it than in China,” he told journalists.