GVK Hancock Coal mine gets Federal green light

A $4.2 billion coal mine development for the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland has won Federal approval, fewer than six months after earning its go-ahead from the Queensland Government.

GVK Hancock Coal will need 1800 workers to build its two open-cut coal mines, 2.5km runway and 2000-person work camp west of Mackay and Rockhampton, with a further 1600 to be hired once operations begin.

GVK Power and Infrastructure vice-president GV Sanjay Reddy said it was "one of the most significant pieces of regional and economic development this state has seen for decades".

For Indian-owned GVK, the green light for Kevins Corner puts it further ahead of rival Adani - another Indian powerhouse planning to develop coal in the Galilee.

Adani's $5.9 billion Carmichael Coal Mine is currently working towards approval from the Queensland Government.

Kevins Corner is the second of three major mines along with the already-approved Alpha and the less-advanced Alpha West, that will eventually pump out a total of 80 million tonnes of coal a year.

GVK is also working to develop its own export terminal at Abbot Point near Bowen, which will be linked to its three mine projects by a high-capacity rail line stretching 500km.

Construction on Kevins Corner is to start in 2015, with first exports from 2018 - 12 months after Alpha.

It is a dose of good news for GVK after it spent weeks in Queensland's Land Court facing a challenge to the environmental credentials of its Alpha mine.

A decision is to be decided on that front by early next year.

Federal environment minister Greg Hunt was unavailable for comment late yesterday.

Before mining can start, GVK must secure its mining lease which it expects to be awarded in 2014.

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