The Alpha Mine & Rail project in Queensland, a collaboration project of Georgina Hope Rinehart, one of the richest women in the world, and India's GVK Group, may be able to secure a green clearance as early as August 2012.
Gina Rinehart, the world's richest woman, has attacked some Australian workers for being jealous toward the rich, spending too much time down the pub, and suggested lowering the minimum wage of 606.40 Australian dollars ($626 U.S.) per week.
Ms Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd, told reporters at a press conference in Hyderabad that she was expectant the will get the much-needed environmental clearances from the Australian federal government by the end of July or early August.
GV Sanjay Reddy, vice chairman of GVK, meanwhile, said the company plans to commence production and start sending the coal to India and other southeast Asian nations by 2016.
GVK intends to sell stakes in a unit and in its Australian mines and rail and port projects in Queensland state in order to raise $3.5 billion by December, Sanjay Reddy earlier said in June.
A number of foreign investors and banks have taken interest to fund the coal project, which is 79 per cent owned by GVK and 21 per cent by Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.
"Our bankers see it as a qualitative project. We are going to be raising much of our debt through External Commercial Agencies (ECAs) as these agencies can fund projects for over 15 years compared to other international banks that would want companies to re-finance their debt after a period of five years," Sanjay Reddy was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.
The Alpha coal project is composed of a 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) mine, a 495-km standard gauge railway with 60 mtpa approvals and a terminal and two berths at Abbot Point.
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