TWO NEW MINES FOR CENTRAL QLD are looking closer to becoming a reality with GVK Hancock announcing this afternoon that they’ve applied for approval to develop 310 km of rail to link the proposed projects to the existing rail network to Abbot Point.
The rail link will be crucial to the successful development of GVK Hancock’s Alpha coal project and Kevin’s Corner project in the southern Galilee Basin.
Following is the full statement from GVK Hancock:
GVK Hancock has commenced a ‘Material Change of Use’ application for the approximate 310 kilometre first stage of its rail corridor, following years of extensive planning and hydrological assessments in development of infrastructure to connect its Galilee Basin coal deposits with export markets.
The development of the Galilee Basin represents one of the most significant pieces ofregional and economic development Queensland has seen for decades and this application allows us to continue meeting and exceeding our regulatory requirements to support such a significant development.
The ‘Material Change of Use’ (MCU) application is the next step in finalising planning for this significant rail infrastructure development and follows on from the granting of State environmental approval in May 2012, Federal environmental approval in August 2012 and the granting of the Galilee Basin State Development Area in June 2014.
As part of the MCU application we will be continuing to work with landholders to ensure the detailed planning, which has been presented to each specific property in the past continues to maintain access to homesteads, stock feeding areas and water supply.
We will also be seeking consent from landholders along the section of this first stage of rail corridor and we have made contact with all landholders along the rail corridor in order to commence such discussions.
To date, the project team has undertaken an extensive assessment and landholder engagement process for infrastructure along the approved rail corridor connecting the southern end of the Galilee Basin with export markets.
The broad range of environmental and hydrological assessments contributed to the collaboration of an Environment Impact Statement (EIS), a Supplementary Environmental
Impact Statement (SEIS) and an Addendum to the SEIS for the proposed rail infrastructure. These assessments take into consideration the unavoidable fact that any rail line from the southern end of the Galilee Basin to the coast must traverse the flood plains of the Belyando and its tributaries at some stage.
The detailed planning and design work for our rail line meets all of the hydrological requirements of the government’s stringent regulations for crossing such terrain.
In addition to the government’s stringent conditions, our rail corridor meets the required flood immunity level with all drainage structures and rail formations designed accordingly.
Our planning also incorporates our respective parent companies’ own extensive infrastructure
experience to ensure the rail line enables both water to flow in extreme flood events, and to
minimise damage to infrastructure.
Consultation with local landholders was a central element of planning for the proposed rail
line with GVK Hancock appointing a hydrologist to talk through the detailed modelling with
GVK Hancock also funded an independent well-respected local expert hydrological consultant
to work on behalf of landholders so they could gain peace of mind in relation to all of the
modelling and information that was made available throughout the assessments.
During this engagement, landholders provided additional rainfall data for the modelling and
indicated that the model reflected the flood behaviour on their properties.
All questions raised in this engagement process with landholders were answered in a close
out report to Queensland’s Coordinator General.
To date, we have successfully negotiated term sheets with landholders for around 75% of the
rail corridor, which outline the commercially agreed terms for the acquisition and
compensation of land.
We plan to continue working cooperatively with landholders, the community and all levels of
government as we advance our projects to a point where construction can commence.
We are continuing to finalise a joint venture agreement with Aurizon to develop the required
rail and port infrastructure.