Oct 15, 2009

Major Project Facilitation status granted to Hancock

Major Project Facilitation status granted to Hancock

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 15 2009

I have granted Major Project Facilitation (MPF) status to three multi-billion mining proposals being progressed by Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd, underscoring the Government’s efforts to support major new private investment during the global recession.

The projects are:

  • Roy Hill 1 Iron Ore project 270 kilometres south of Port Hedland.

It is estimated this project would require a capital expenditure of between $5 and $7 billion – including a 300 kilometre rail line to Port Hedland and new berths at Port Hedland’s Inner Harbour; create 3,000 construction and 1,200 ongoing jobs; and generate annual export earnings of around $5 billion.

Subject to regulatory approvals, construction of the mine will commence in early 2011, with production expected to get underway in 2013.

  • Alpha and Kevin’s Corner projects in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

The projects would deliver considerable economic benefits to the national economy, create up to 5,000 construction and 3,000 ongoing jobs, and generate annual export earnings of around $6 billion.

They may also include the construction of common user rail and port facilities, with discussions ongoing between Hancock Prospecting and the Queensland Government.

As well as the export of thermal coal, consideration is also being given to a mine mouth power station and the prospects for a coal to liquids development.

Subject to regulatory approval, construction of the mines will commence in early 2011, with the first shipment to Asia expected in 2013.

MPF program is administered by my Department, with the purpose of facilitating and supporting private sector investment proposals through the approval processes of Federal and state/territory authorities. It also assists with the early identification of impediments to greater private sector investment.  

BACKGROUND

The Major Project Facilitation program is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

Under the program, the Department provides the project with a facilitation service to achieve quick and timely assistance from the Australian Government. The service ensures:

  • Access to information on government approval processes;
  • All relevant government processes are coordinated, including those of state and territory governments, so that as far as possible they occur simultaneously and without duplication;
  • Government agencies respond promptly to issues raised by the project proponent during the approval process; and
  • Assistance in identifying and accessing government programs is provided.

MPF status does not imply any Government guarantee for the commercial success or otherwise of the project, nor does it absolve the project from meeting less than the full statutory and other requisite criteria of relevant approval processes.

Proponents may apply to the Minister for MPF status if their proposed project meets the following three criteria:

1. The project is of strategic significance to Australia:

  • • The project will significantly boost Australian industry innovation.

a) Increasing research and development (R&D) and commercialisation capability; and/or

b) A new application of skills and knowledge; and/or

c) Technology transfer; and/or

d) Cluster development.

  • • Or, the project will have significant net economic benefit for regional Australia, taking account of a region’s investment needs.
  • • Or, the project’s estimated investment exceeds A$50 million and makes a significant contribution to economic growth, employment and/or infrastructure.

2. Requires Australian Government approval(s) in order to proceed and/or significant Australian Government involvement through, for example, other Federal programs.

3. Has sufficient financial resources to complete the Australian Government approval(s) process and can demonstrate the reasonable commercial viability of the project.

Further details on the program are available from the Major Project Facilitation Unit with the Infrastructure Department: GPO Box 594, CANBERRA, 2601 or telephone 02 6274 7251.