Going begging for GVK coal

15 September 2014

Market Forces took pity this morning on GVK, who need to find $560 million by tomorrow as part of their deal to own the Alpha Coal Project, a massive thermal coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

GVK bought Alpha from Hancock Coal in 2011 for $1.2 billion, payable in three instalments, the last of which is due on the 16th of September 2014. But with GVK’s entire company worth less than this last half-billion dollar payment and already heavily in debt, it is looking like they’re going to arrive at tomorrow’s deadline empty handed.

Market Forces tried to help by sending some street fundraisers out to help raise some desperately needed funds for GVK. We called for any donations and showed people GVK’s vision for their project, but sadly were unable to raise a single dollar to support the project.

Click here to see photos of the action.

“We did all we could but the more we explained the project to passers by, the less they seemed interested in contributing”, said Market Forces spokesperson Sam Robb.

The Alpha Coal project is a proposed 30 million tonne per year thermal coal mine, requiring hundreds of kilometers of connecting rail and a massive new coal export terminal being built at Abbot Point in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. While the Alpha Coal project would cause local environmental harm in the short term, especially through coastal industrialisation, dredging and shipping in the World Heritage Site, it would also open up one of the biggest untapped coal reserves in the world, adding massively to carbon pollution at a time when urgent reductions are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

What does the future hold for GVK if they don’t make their payment to Hancock Coal? It’s hard to say. But one thing’s for sure – if we want to see this coal stay in the ground, we’ll need the big banks to do the same as Brisbane’s locals did this morning and commit nothing to this dirty new coal project.

You can help keep the big banks out of Galilee Basin coal and reef destruction.

If you’re with the big four banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB or Westpac), put them on notice – tell them that if they choose fossil fuels, you’ll choose another bank!

If you’re not with the big four banks you can still call on them to not finance the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port and the mines and rail lines that would feed into the new export terminals. Check out out Abbot Point page to learn more about what’s proposed for the coal port, which banks have ruled out funding the expansion and what you can do to help.