JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Australia’s largest rail freight company Aurizon has withdrawn its application for funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to assist with a multi-user, open access rail solution for the development of the coal-rich Galilee basin.
Aurizon CEO Andrew Harding said on Friday that the rail operator was in ongoing discussions with several Galilee basin mine proponents, but that talks had not yet progressed to definitive contractual agreements with any proponent.
“Our NAIF application is, in part, predicted on having customer contracts secured. Given this is unlikely to occur in the near future, we believe it is prudent to withdraw the NAIF application,” he said in a statement.
The announcement is another blow to Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises’ plans to build a large coal mine in the Galilee basin, as the line could have carried its coal to the coast for exports.
Adani already had its own application for NAIF funding for a 400 km rail line to its proposed Carmichael coal project canned, after Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk vetoed the transaction.