Australia signs huge China coal dealErr, no, you'll be selling them 30 million tons of coal a year for 20 years. Words mean things.
An Australian firm has signed a $60bn (AUS$69bn; £38bn) deal to supply coal to Chinese power stations.
Clive Palmer, chairman of the company, Resourcehouse, said it was Australia's "biggest ever export contract".
Under the deal, the firm will build a new mining complex to give China Power International Development (CPI) 30m tonnes of coal a year for 20 years.
Analysts say it is further evidence of China's strong demand for resources boosting Australia's economy.Odd, isn't it, how a "re-energized economy" demands more energy?
Most of China's power stations rely on coal - and demand has risen sharply in recent months after a government stimulus programme re-energised its economy.
Here's good news for my industry:
The plan involves building a huge new mining complex in the Australian state of Queensland, and laying 500km (311 miles) of railway line to move the coal to the coast.And the extra 10 million tons per annum will go . . . where?
Resourcehouse's executive director, Phil McNamara, said the "once-in-a-century project" would include open-cast and underground mines, with construction likely to begin later this year.
The complex in the Galilee basin, to be called China First, is expected to start coal production in 2013 and will churn out some 40 million tonnes a year.
My employer has a lot of experience in the mining industry, so perhaps we'll get a chunk of the design work. If not, it means whoever does won't be available to compete against us on other projects.
But the lucrative Sino-Australian deal will almost certainly disappoint some environmental groups, says the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney.They call coal the wonder-mineral. You can do anything with it, except mine it or burn it.
They believe Australia's reliance on plentiful reserves of coal, both for domestic electricity generation and for export, should be reduced in favour of renewable sources of energy.
Pure carbon! Except for the sulfur in it that produces sulfur dioxide and acid rain, and the mercury that is released largely from coal-fired power plants. I wonder if the Chinese power plants will have particulate scrubbers and such like ours do? And then, of course, you've got the release of all that CO2, the "greenhouse gas" that we're told we have to cap.
I wonder if NASA's James Hansen will travel to China to protest? Or will he, perhaps, go to Queensland where it'll be safer to hold a protest sign?