Vale, QR National Sign Accord to Study Coal Rail in Australia

Vale SA, the world’s biggest iron ore shipper, and QR National Ltd. signed an initial agreement to study building rail roads to ship coal from planned Vale mines in Australia.

Vale and QR National, Australia’s biggest haulage company, will study proposals to build rail links from the Galilee and Bowen basins in Queensland state to coastal ports, Brisbane-based QR National today said in an e-mailed statement.

Brazil’s Vale plans to develop a $10 billion coal project in the Galilee basin to produce as much as 40 million metric tons annually. The project, alongside others proposed by India’s GVK Group and Asia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, require a 500-kilometer (310-mile) railroad to the coast.

Mining companies are being forced to dig further inland to profit from the rising consumption in China and India, the two fastest-growing major economies. China will account for 63 percent of the increase in global coal demand through 2016, the International Energy Agency said in a December report.

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