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BHP cancels plans for rail, port at Abbot Point

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Australian mining giant, BHP Billiton, has relinquished its right to build a US$5bn coal terminal at Abbot Point in Queensland, effectively cancelling its plans to build a coal export facility and rail infrastructure at the port. </span> <p>The move has been signalled for some time now BHP announced intentions to stop work on growth projects in Queensland coal mining back in September, and the potential terminal at Abbot Point falls into that category.<br /><br />The miner says it’s taking the action in response to a softening global outlook for coal.<br /><br />Earlier this month, BHP reportedly agreed with the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation – which operates Abbot Point – to discontinue development plans for a second terminal (T2) at Abbot Point.<br /><br />A company spokeswoman was quoted by Fairfax to have confirmed this via email late last week.<br /><br />“Formal relinquishment of the right to develop T2 has now been agreed with North Queensland Bulk and the company will formally withdraw from related regulatory approvals,” the spokeswoman was reported to have written.<br /><br />Abbot Point is one of four major ports managed by North Queensland Bulk Ports. It exported just over 17mt of coal in the 2012/13 financial year, and is on pace with similar figures so far in the new financial year.<br /><br />BHP’s plans for T2 would have seen the construction of a new terminal, linking with the Goonyella system in the Bowen Basin via a 250km rail line.<br /><br />BHP, along with joint venture partner Mitsubishi, owns a number of mines in the region.<br /><br />The rail line that was planned for the scrapped project would have been capable of carrying 60mtpa.</p>