Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Australia-China mine deal mix-up

A coal-fired power station in China's Jilin province, 12 Jan
Coal is used to generate about 80% of China's power supplies

A row has broken out over the detail of a deal between Australian mining firm Resourcehouse and a Chinese firm.

At the weekend Resourcehouse said it had struck a $60bn (£38bn) deal with China Power International Development.

But Resourcehouse now admits it named the wrong company and the coal deal is actually with the parent firm, China Power International Holding.

But China Power International Holding said it was not a final deal, "just a framework".

It also said the value of the deal would depend on further negotiations.

Resourcehouse said the deal was for 30 million tonnes of coal a year over 20 years.

Most of China's power stations rely on coal - and demand has risen sharply after a government stimulus programme re-energised its economy.

Resourcehouse maintains it has a binding contract. The premier of the Australian state of Queensland, Anna Bligh, said she had seen "contract documents" that confirm this.

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.

The proposed complex in the Galilee basin, to be called China First, would start coal production in 2013 and will churn out some 40 million tonnes a year.

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