Australian miner Resourcehouse yesterday said it had signed a $60 billion (Dh2.2 trillion) coal deal with energy-hungry China, calling it the country's "biggest-ever export contract".
Resourcehouse Chairman Clive Palmer said the company had negotiated a 20-year agreement to supply China Power International Development (CPI) with 30 million tonnes of coal a year from a proposed mine in central Queensland.
"This deal with CPI is Australia's biggest ever export contract," Palmer said in a statement. The latest in a string of major deals between China and resource-rich Australia, the project signals a thaw in diplomatic tensions surrounding the detention of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and fraught iron ore price talks.
Palmer, Australia's fifth-richest man, said he had awarded the engineering and construction management contract for the eight-billion-US-dollar thermal coal mine, named "China First", to Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC).
"MCC will manage a syndicated group consisting of Sino Coal International Engineering Group, China Communications Construction Company (First Harbour) and China Railway Group Limited (Crec) to build Australia's largest coal mine along with the required export infrastructure," the billionaire magnate said.
The Export-Import Bank of China had financed a $5.6bn loan, Palmer said, but emphasised the project was 100 per cent Australian-owned. "This is Australia's largest single, non-syndicated, finance deal and the interest from China highlights the strength of the project and the benefits for Queensland and Australia in developing a new world-class coal region," he said.
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