Foreign firms in mining arms race with locals at Galilee

A SPRAWLING coal mine and rail project worth billions could be forcing Indian developers Adani to seek help from Chinese investors.

India's Business Standard quotes a "high ranking executive" who says the energy giant is courting China Rail Corporation and others to purchase a major stake in the $16.5 billion project.

Adani and home-country rivals GVK are each racing to tap into the enormous thermal coal reserves of the Galilee Basin in Queensland's central west.

Adani's Carmichael Mine has not caught up to GVK's Alpha project yet in terms of government approvals.

Its strength was considered to be its assured funding - Adani's business case involves mining then shipping the coal to its own power plants in India.

The company would be both supplier and customer.

According to the report, Adani wants to sell half its stake in the project in an effort to raise $5 billion.

Questions have been raised about the ability of both Adani and GVK to develop the Galilee as international thermal coal prices remain low.

Each company has previously defended their projects, claiming their massive scale allows for lower operating costs.

If approved and funded, the Adani rail and coal project would create almost 1500 jobs during construction, followed by 3800 once operational.

Adani was approached for comment on Monday but did not respond before deadline.