THE tiny Queensland town of Alpha is at the centre of the largest deal ever signed between Australian and Indian parties.
Gina Rinehart's Hancock Coal has confirmed it will sell most of its Galilee Basin holdings near Alpha to leading Indian infrastructure developer GVK group in a deal worth $1.2 billion.
Last Friday's announcement by Hancock Coal means nearly all the coal in the emerging Galilee Basin has now already been sold to Indian or Chinese parties, with mining not scheduled to start for another three years.
The deal, which is one of the largest integrated coal development projects in the world, will see the GVK Group acquire 79% in the mammoth Tad's Corner Alpha Coal Project and Paul's Corner Alpha West Coal Project, 100% shareholding in the Kevin's Corner Coal Project and 100% in the rail and port projects connecting the mines to Abbott Point.
At full production, the three coal mines are expected to supply 84 million tonnes per annum to the global market.
Hancock Coal chairman Gina Rinehart said the integrated projects were the most advanced in Queensland's Galilee Basin.
"We would like to congratulate Dr GVK Reddy and family on this, the biggest deal we know of between Australia and India," Mrs Rinehart said.
"We are delighted to be working with Mr GVK Reddy and G V Sanjay Reddy and GVK and we are also very pleased with this strategic alliance with a country that needs our coal and which should help to propel these mines to successful development and ongoing operations over decades."
GVK vice-chairman G V Sanjay Reddy described the acquisition as "a landmark deal in the economic co-operation between India and Australia".
"We look forward to working closely with the local, state and federal governments in promoting the economic development of Australia," Mr Reddy said.
GVK chairman Dr GVK Reddy said he was excited about closing the landmark transaction and bringing the huge projects to fruition.
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