Adani Group all set to commence work on Carmichael coal mine project in Australia
Queensland govt to sign off on groundwater management plan for the project tomorrow
In what could come as a huge relief for the Adani Group, that has been fighting environment groups in Australia for close to a decade, the Queensland government is set to sign off on the groundwater management plan for the Carmichael coal mine project on Thursday, enabling the Indian conglomerate to begin work on the $2-billion project.
The Gautam Adani-led group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland — estimated to hold 7.8 billion tonnes of coal — from Australian firm Linc Energy for A$680 million, as well as the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen in the northern area. The coal mine will be connected to the Abbot Point port by a 388-km-long rail line, estimated to cost around $3.3 billion, for exporting the coal.
The management plan aimed at protecting the blackthroated finch and the groundwater dependent ecosystem plan were holding up the start of construction activities on the mine and rail project.
On May 31, Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) accepted Adani’s management plan for the endangered black-throated finch around the Carmichael mine The Adani Group has been battling environmental groups for almost a decade to get the mine project off the ground (File photo)
site. The DES has been reviewing the groundwater management plan for more than two years, across 11 versions.
In addition, pre-eminent scientific bodies such as the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia have also conducted reviews of the groundwater management plan.
Adani’s Australian unit said
it can start work on the project the next day after its groundwater management plan is accepted by the Queensland government on Thursday.
“We have been put through the highest level of scrutiny on these plans and have overcome every hurdle along the way. These plans have been approved at the federal level already,” Adani Mining CEO, Lucas Dow, said.
“We are determined to see this through for the benefit of Queensland and, in particular, for the people in regional Queensland,” he said.
The proposed Carmichael mine will be constructed in the North Galilee Basin, more than 300 km from the Queensland coastline and approximately 160 km north-west of Clermont in regional Queensland.
The Carmichael mine, one of the 125 coal mines in Australia, will produce 10 million tonnes of coal annually in the first phase.
It is only slightly larger than the existing mines in the Hunter Valley and the Bowen Basin.
The mine, through taxes and royalties, will generate billions of dollars for the government in its first 30 years of operation.