All that remains for the deal to go forward is for GVK to secure finance, after the framework to sell Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting stake in the Alpha and Kevin’s Corner projects was agreed upon, according to Indian media reports.
The Galilee is emerging as a centre of Asian investment in Australian coal with the Indian Adani group and Clive Palmer’s China First project – which is being bank rolled by the Chinese.
Last month Rinehart ruled out selling her entire coal assets in the Galilee Basin, despite ongoing speculation to the contrary.
''Despite various media speculation, the Hancock companies will continue to hold equity in our major Queensland coal projects,'' Rinehart said.
''We always recognised we would not be able to retain 100 per cent equity given the significant size of the investment required for the three mines and their infrastructure – but remain keen to hold a significant position.
''We only regret that with Australia's high costs and the risks of additional taxes, our Australian company unfortunately won't be able to retain as much equity as we had hoped.''
There are three well-known plans to build rail lines of around 500km each to link projects in the undeveloped basin to export through Abbot Point.
These include Adani Group’s rail for its Carmichael project, targeting 60 million tonnes per annum, and a rail for the up to 60Mtpa anticipated from Hancock Coal’s projects.
Palmer is behind a separate rail proposal to link the up to 40Mtpa China First project shared by his company Waratah Coal and Metallurgical Corporation of China.
Hancock has begun trial mining in the Galilee Basin, with thermal coal samples to be sent to a Korean power station this month as it prepares to establish itself as a leading player in the basin, according to the company.