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

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - P MANOJ

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.

Man­age­ment plans

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.

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