The Galilee Coal Project, otherwise known as the China First Coal Project, is a proposal for a 40 mega-tonne per annum thermal coal mine and 453km rail transportation network to the port of Abbot Point, where the coal would be exported through the Great Barrier Reef1.
The project proponent is Waratah Coal, a company owned by billionaire Federal MP Clive Palmer.
The mine site is in the southern Galilee Basin, 30 km north of Alpha and about 450 km west of Rockhampton.
The mine is opposed by the founders of the 8,000 ha Bimblebox Nature Refuge, half of which is set to be cleared to make way for the project2. The Refuge’s remnant woodland is habitat for endangered species, including the Black Throated Finch and koalas3.
Waratah Coal put the cost of the mine and rail project at $6.4 billion4, while an Oxford University report found production costs for the project were likely to be well above the depressed price for thermal coal5.
The Galilee Coal project has received all necessary environmental approvals but is yet to receive an Environmental Authority or Mining Licence6 from the Queensland Government.
- Waratah Coal company website
- Queensland Government China First Project page
- China First EIS executive summary
- Waratah Coal Galilee Coal Federal Government Approval Decision
- Stranded Down Under: Environment-related factors changing China’s demand for coal and what that means for Australia’s coal assets (Oxford University)
- Groundwater report: An analysis of the cumulative impact of the proposed Galilee Basin coal mines on water resources.
- Galilee Basin and its impact on climate and the reef: An analysis of the major Galilee Basin coal proposals.
- Bimblebox Nature Refuge website