Palmer also announced Queensland’s largest engineering, procurement and construction management contract for $8.013 billion to Metallurgical Corporation of China to build the mine and infrastructure.
“This is Australia’s largest single non-syndicated finance deal and the interest from China highlights the strength of the project and the benefits for Queensland and Australia in developing a new world-class coal region such as the Galilee Basin,” he said.
The contract with China Power Investment Corporation is to supply 30 million tonnes per annum of coal for approximately $3 billion a year over 20 years.
The China First project will include a large-scale thermal coal mine in the undeveloped Galilee Basin region near Alpha, west of Emerald. The complex will include four underground mines, two surface mines and associated coal handling and processing facilities.
The mine will be linked to a new coal terminal at Abbot Point near Bowen by a new 490km standard gauge, heavy haul railway line. The mine and associated infrastructure will create 6000 jobs during construction and 1500 during operation.
The China First development has been granted major project facilitation status by federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and declared a significant project by the Queensland government.
Resourcehouse executive director Phil McNamara negotiated the 20-year sales agreement with one of China’s largest power companies, China Power International Development, the flagship company of China Power Investment Corp.
MCC will manage a syndicated group consisting of Sino Coal International Engineering Group, China Communications Construction Company (First Harbour) and China Railway Group Limited (CREC) to build Australia’s largest coal mine along with the required export infrastructure.
The $8 billion China First project is being developed by China First, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Resourcehouse.
China Power International Development chairwoman Li Xiao Lin said: “The project is opening up a massive new coal resource and the CPI Group of companies are pleased to be involved in the project.”
Palmer said the Export-Import Bank of China had confirmed it has agreed to lead the financing for $5.6 billion for the project.