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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Comment invited on proposed Hancock rail corridor

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Comment invited on proposed Hancock rail corridor

    Work has begun to secure a 500-kilometre land corridor for a potential new rail project which could move bulk coal from Hancock’s Alpha Coal mine to the Port of Abbot Point.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said landowners and residents who would be directly affected by Hancock Coal Pty Ltd’s proposed rail corridor, had been invited to have their say.

    The proposed rail and two proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin could inject billions of dollars into the Queensland economy and generate an estimated 8600 jobs.

    “Looking forward, one of our most critical Queensland industries, the resources sector, is continuing to grow and recover from the global recession,” said Mr Hinchliffe.

    “Our major infrastructure projects in Queensland are not only providing state-of-the-art infrastructure fit for the 21st century—but providing thousands of jobs to the state’s economy.

    “Hancock Coal Pty Ltd is proposing a rail corridor for the construction of a standard gauge, stand-alone railway line and ancillary facilities—which would be designed to transport bulk coal from the Alpha Coal mine to the western boundary of the Abbot Point State Development Area.

    “Hancock’s final decision to develop the Alpha Coal project is expected later this year after the completion of a bankable feasibility study—and is subject to obtaining all government approvals.

    “If the project were to proceed, Hancock would create the biggest thermal coal mine complex in Australia with annual exports at full production of 60 million tonnes of good quality, low ash, low gas and low sulphur coal.’’

    Hancock has applied to the Coordinator-General to have the rail corridor of the project assessed as an infrastructure facility of significance.

    Coordinator-General Colin Jensen said he was inviting written comment from people who could be directly affected by the area under investigation, from Saturday February 20 until 5pm on 22 March.

    “The rail corridor which runs from Hancock’s proposed Alpha Coal mine in the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point State Development Area, is based on Hancock’s preferred alignment,” said Mr Jensen.

    “The route is being investigated by Hancock and a final alignment will be determined during further assessments, such as detailed, on-site topographic studies.”

    The declaration of an infrastructure facility of significance does not in any way constitute approval, or endorsement of the proposed rail project, which has to assessed using the environmental impact statement (EIS) by the Coordinator-General.

    The proponent is now preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, which will be released by the Coordinator-General for public comment in late 2010.

    The public consultation period opens today and submissions from interested parties will be taken until 5pm on Monday 22 March, 2010. The application can also be viewed at www.hancockcoal.com.au and a CD-ROM is available, on request, from the proponent.

    Submissions can be made to:

    The Coordinator-General

    c/o The Project Manager, Hancock Coal Rail Corridor

    Infrastructure and Economic Development

    Department of Infrastructure and Planning

    PO Box 15009, City East, Qld 4002

    Submissions can also be faxed to 07 3229 7315 or emailed to s125hancock@dip.qld.gov.au

    Media contact: 0417 815 223

    Hancock Prospecting Alpha Coal Project

    • Project could create employment for 2500 people during construction and 1600 permanent positions during operations
    • If approved the proposed open-cut mine is expected to be developed in stages and could have an initial export capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum
    • Expected capital cost of $7.5 billion
    • Proponent is preparing EIS
    • Proposal includes a mine and construction of a railway to an expanded facility at Abbot Point or new export terminal to be established at Dudgeon Point
    • New major water and power supply infrastructure would be necessary to service the mine and port
    • Initial exports are targeted for 2013

    Hancock Prospecting Kevin’s Corner

    • Mine could create more than 2500 construction jobs and 2000 ongoing jobs
    • Forecast export capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum
    • Expected capital cost of $9 billion
    • Terms of Reference for the project being finalised by the Coordinator-General
    • Proposal includes an open-cut and underground coal mine at Kevin’s Corner, 56km north of Alpha in the Galilee Basin
    • First coal could be exported in 2013