ENVIRONMENT

Rinehart ready to sell Alpha, Kevin's Corner: report

A STAKE in Gina Rinehart's Alpha and Kevin's Corner coal projects in Queensland's Galilee Basin could be up for sale for up to $A2 billion.

Lou Caruana
Rinehart ready to sell Alpha, Kevin's Corner: report

Rinehart’s Hancock Coal projects, which would require about $15 billion in development capital, are believed to be attractive to large global mining companies eager to extend their footprint in one of the world’s fast emerging coal provinces, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review .

Interest for the projects could come from Indian, Brazilian or Chinese industry players.

The Alpha and Kevin's Corner projects have a combined resource of 7.9 billion tonnes. The Alpha project alone has enough coal resources to have an open cut mine life of 30 years with production of 30Mtpa, and enough JORC-compliant resources to extend the mine's life past that.

Hancock’s coal assets also have the added attraction of having access to infrastructure.

Hancock and BHP Billiton were named the preferred developers of the Abbot Point terminal on the coast of Queensland, and Hancock has secured an initial 30Mt of stockpile capacity with an opportunity to expand to 60Mt.

Indian giant Adani Enterprises earlier this year purchased Linc Energy’s exploration projects containing 7.8 billion tonnes of thermal coal in the Galilee Basin from Linc Energy in a $750 million deal, and other Indian players are keen to secure assets there.

Other interested parties could include Brazil’s Vale which already owns nearby assets and the Chinese Shenhua Group and China Coal.

Vale plans to start construction of its Ellensfield longwall project in Queensland late next year while the Brazilian miner is eyeing what could be a 20-40Mtpa project in the Galilee Basin.

North of its closed Broadlea mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, the greenfield Ellensfield project is targeting 5Mtpa and a mine life of 20 years.

Vale’s Degulla project in the Galilee Basin could potentially be a 20-40Mtpa project and exploration there is continuing.

At least 400 kilometres away from the ports in the state, the Degulla project is north of Alpha and Kevin’s Corner and Clive Palmer’s (Waratah Coal) China First project.

Vale’s Galilee tenements are grouped together in two separate blocks and total about 3000 square kilometres.

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