Gold Coast owner Palmer set to become Australia’s richest

Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer is set to become Australia’s richest man after negotiating a deal that will allow him to sell coal to China.

The Queensland mining magnate has unveiled a deal believed to be worth $69.4billion that will enable him to go past property tycoon Frank Lowy and James Packer, the son of the late media mogul Kerry Packer.

Reports have stated that Mr Palmer has pulled off the country’s largest coal export deal which will last for 20 years and he will also float his private mining company that will be responsible for delivering the fossil fuel.

The Australian reported the following: ‘Under the deal, which is still subject to a host of legislative and regulatory approvals, Mr Palmer's China First project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland would supply the state-owned power company with up to 30 million tonnes a year from 2014.

‘To make that happen, Mr Palmer has signed a $US8 billion bn deal with the Metallurgical Corporation of China, and its state-owned compatriots, to build the mine, a 490km standard gauge railway to Abbot Point - Australia's most northerly coal terminal, 175km south of Townsville - and a stand-alone coal terminal.

‘Mr Palmer had previously proposed shipping the coal from a new terminal at Shoalwater Bay, 630km northwest of Brisbane, a concept rejected by the Rudd government on environmental grounds.

‘He is now likely to partner with other players in the Galilee Basin for the supporting infrastructure.

‘It is thought the float of Resourcehouse will raise between $2 billion and $3 billion, with Mr Palmer retaining a controlling stake in the company. It will hit the Hong Kong bourse with a market capitalisation of about $9 billion.

‘Mr Palmer described the coal deal as of great benefit to the company and the Australian economy.

"We think it's a great achievement. It also shows you can still get things moving despite worries about the world economy," he said.