Two rail corridors to be defined for Galilee Basin
Following confusion over a number of conflicting rail proposals put forward to link new coal mines in the Galilee and Bowen Basins, the Queensland Government has announced that it will recognise only two rail corridors to serve the mining developments in the region.
Image: QR National
There have been a number of proposals put forward for new rail links to service prospective mining developments in the Galilee Basin region including Clive Palmer’s China First mine, Gina Rheinhart’s joint venture with Indian investor GVK and the Adani Group’s Carmichael mine. With a potential of around 200 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of export coal on offer, QR National (QRN) has also put forward its own competing Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project.
The State Government says its preferred option is for an east-west corridor based around an extension of the existing QRN network from near Moranbah to the central
A north-south rail corridor will be defined along an alignment, proposed by the GVK-Hancock Coal joint venture, to facilitate the construction of new standard gauge rail lines to link a number of proposed large-scale, vertically integrated mining operations in the southern
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the government’s decision for two corridors was a common-sense and co-ordinated approach that would replace eight different railway proposals.
“This outcome is a win for the mine proponents, local communities, landholders and the environment,” he said.
He told Parliament that the two corridors were the only areas in which the State Government was likely to use its powers to compulsorily acquire land for new rail lines.
“After exhaustive negotiations with all the mine proponents I believe that the responsible development of the
”The Government will work towards declaring State Development Areas to define these two preferred corridors within which the Government’s powers of compulsory land acquisition can be exercised to bring about our clearly stated policy outcomes of a coordinated approach to railway development.
“The east-west extension is currently being developed by QRN and Adani and provides the best option for a staged development of mine, rail and port capacity for the
“The Government will also support an expansion of capacity on the existing QRN alignment north to Abbot Point. It will be the preferred transport corridor for proposed developments and expansions in the northern
For the large, vertically integrated mines proposed for the southern
The Government has sought to reassure other miners that they will not be disadvantaged saying it will ensure third party access to the two approved corridors.
It also says there will be the option for other large mining proposals to co-locate their own new railway lines within the north-south corridor should they consider that to be more commercially viable, an issue that has been raised by
QRN welcomes decision
QR National has welcomed the announcement saying the development would unlock the potential of the basins and underpin their position as global centres for coal mining and export.
QR National Managing Director and CEO, Mr Lance Hockridge said as part of the announcement by the State Government, QR National would expand its existing brownfields rail system to facilitate staged development of both basins.
“The first stage will be to expand the current capacity on the Goonyella/Newlands corridors by at least 25 mtpa to 75 mtpa by duplicating sections of Goonyella to Abbot Point (
“QR National will also accelerate feasibility studies to examine expanding
“As part of the initial expansion work QR National is committing to construction of a deviation around the
“In addition the State Government has also announced it supports QR National’s proposal for staged development of a west to east common corridor and supporting north-south connections which connect new
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