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Waratah widens its Galilee options

AMBITIOUS coal explorer Waratah Coal will widen its scope as it looks to build a new port on the Queensland coast after the Australian and state governments opposed the company’s initial choice.

Vivienne Ryan
Waratah widens its Galilee options

Waratah president Peter Lynch said the coal company remained committed to its project and had already looked at other sites for the port.

Waratah is proposing to develop a new 25 million tonne per annum coal mine as well as a 500km rail and a new port, worth $A5.3 billion, which would unlock Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Earlier this month federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett spoke out against Waratah’s plans.

He said the proposal would have “clearly unacceptable” environmental impacts and encouraged the explorer to look at alternative sites for the port.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh backed Garrett’s calls while her deputy Paul Lucas acknowledged the economic advantages of developing the Galilee Basin.

“At the same time we are not abandoning our rights under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in respect of Minister Garrett’s purported decision,” Lynch said over the initial port proposal.

Waratah announced today it had met with Queensland government officials to look at “various rail and port opportunities” for the development of the Galilee Basin.

“The Galilee Basin is a project of national significance and an investment in the competitiveness of Australia’s coal industry,” Lynch said.

“The statements made to date from both the state and federal governments shows that they recognise that.”

Exploration by Waratah has outlined an inferred thermal coal resource of over 4.3 billion tonnes.

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