Rinehart open to stake hike; expects green nod shortly

The Australian mining magnate and billionaire, Ms Georgina Hope Rinehart, today expressed confidence that the Federal Government will extend the environment assessment nod for the GVK’s Hancock coal mine project in Galilee basin in Australia shortly.

She owns one of the biggest privately owned iron ore mines and several other large mine assets in the world.

The Chairman of Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd., Ms. Rinehart said the Federal approval for the Alpha Coal mine project and rail project is likely to come through within weeks and considerable progress has been made since the nod from the State. “There has been no instance as yet wherein a State Government has approved a project and the Federal Government has stopped it,” she said.

She was in Hyderabad for a Board meeting and later spoke to newspersons about the importance of the coal project for Australia describing it amongst the biggest coal projects with great significance to Australia.

Addressing a press conference along with Dr G.V.K. Reddy, Chairman and Mr G.V. Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman of GVK group, Ms. Rinehart reiterated the commitment for the success of the project and expressed satisfaction over the considerable progress made on the Alpha Mine & Rail Project in Queensland, Australia.

She said that the Alpha’s cost position, its coal quality and its associated infrastructure access offer a competitive advantage that will make it amongst the largest and most cost efficient thermal coal operations globally. Moreover, Ms. Rinehart said bankers, financial institutions and global investors have also shown a keen interest in the project.

Answering queries, Ms. Rinehart expressed she was open to hiking stake in some of the projects including the possibility of associating herself with projects promoted by the GVK Group. She said while the focus now is on securing clearances and implementing the project, “I have big bun on my plate. I am open to other opportunities as they present.”

vrishi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 1, 2012)
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